Tag Archives: explore

Travel to Live, Work to Travel

I need to preface this with: I have been beyond blessed in my life. I have had the humbling opportunity to travel multiple times every year of my life.

21 states and 6 countries, and I am not even close to going everywhere I want to go. I have learned many things as a result of my constant need to explore, things I think more people need to understand. I wholeheartedly stand by the idea to make money (i.e. have a job, no matter how minimal it is) to travel. Honestly, I do not need a huge house or an expensive car; I need a plane ticket and an adventure. The peanuts-salary from my student job is what got me on a cruise a couple weeks ago and is getting me to Orlando later this summer. Work hard, travel plenty.

So many of my friends have not been to other countries, have not been to many states in our own country, or have not even explored most of our own home state. It makes me sad for those friends because I cannot imagine a life without exploring and traveling. I understand money is a huge deal, but there are some very cheap ways to explore: travel around your home state (a tank of gas or two, tops), drive to a nearby state (save loads of money on airfare), visit places where you know someone lives and crash with them for free (free housing and having a local who knows the cheap places to eat). Trust me, I get it; I am a graduate student with virtually no income, so I get it. But, that also does not stop me.

See, my mother instilled wanderlust in me at 2-months old, so I really cannot help it. My parents packed me up in June, after my wonderful arrival onto this planet in April, and took me to Tennessee… no wonder I am a Florida girl who loves mountains. My mom has planned our family trips every year and other small travel adventures throughout the year. That was merely the beginning. Quarter of a century later, I have quite the list of destinations checked off.

Antelope Canyon (1)

1. Traveling increases your appreciation

By seeing new places, new people, new livelihoods you learn to appreciate your life, your home, our planet. You appreciate the  Earth, the varied landscapes across the country (or between countries), the sunrises and sunsets, and how other people live and work. You are grateful for this life, thankful for the opportunities, and appreciative of the moment. It is hard to put into words how you feel after you travel, but basically just think: humbled with ear-to-ear-grin happiness. You come back thankful for the experiences and thankful for the place you call home. Warning: you will also come back home with an even stronger urge to travel more; it is a cycle that never ends, really.

Waterfall (1)

2. You will never regret going

The only thing you will regret is not being able to see everything….. and regret not being a millionaire, so you can quit everything and just travel for the rest of your life. I have never come back from a trip unhappy; even when I got food poisoning (two different trips, nonetheless), I did not come back thinking I should have never left. I would go back to those places in a heartbeat – just now I would know where to not eat.

Ireland1 (2)

3. You learn things that are not in textbooks

Many people say you learn new cultures, new values, new religions while you travel, and it does happen to some extent no matter how close to home (or far) you travel. Traveling anywhere, from the state next door, to the country next door, to the opposite side of the planet, can teach you something. You might learn things like how to travel on your own, how to use common sense, how to follow directions/maps, or how to to make big decisions. Or, perhaps, you learn about different cultures and ways of life. You might learn how people in other states pass their time, or how people with a different language interact with one another. Maybe you will even learn the food preferences of that community. Some closed-minded people have told me they do not care to travel because nothing out there seems that exciting. How do they know that? You cannot say you don’t like other places because you have never been.

Grand Canyon (1)

4. Your senses will explode

Literally, your eyes will start twitching from the beauty-overload. Places like the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the beaches, and other natural wonders will make you freak the heck out. Even big cities will make you awe-struck with the architecture, the busy-bee lifestyle, the large light-up signs, and elegant shops. Of course everywhere is different, which only reiterates how much you should travel in your life. Only going to the same big city or only going to the same mountainous getaway is not “traveling” but merely “vacationing.”  The smell of nature, the smell of flower fields, the smell of fisheries, the smell of coffee shops, the smell of local restaurants’ cooking, or the smell of exhaust fumes from a big city are all things you will remember and carry on with you even after you leave a place. The sounds of nothingness, the sound of birds chirping, the sound of rain, the sound of waves, the sound of constant movement and traffic, and the sound of people you meet where you go will stay with you long after you get back home. The feeling of the wind or dry air or misty rain or sand between your toes will never leave you.

Tahoe (1)

5. There are always surprises

Good or bad surprises, you will have some. Maybe it rains the whole time and you have to find other ways to explore the city. Or maybe you stumbled across a hidden gem while getting lost…. I mean meaningfully meandering. Perhaps you start talking to a local at dinner one night and learn about some secret, local-known spot to visit. Maybe you will meet new friends, or maybe you will find out you want to move to that town. Maybe the local cuisine pleasantly surprises you. Anything is possible, and this is another lesson that traveling teaches you: be prepared for anything and just go with the flow. Traveling is supposed to be fun and not micro-managed. Just see what is out there!

Now, get to traveling, folks!

xOx

 

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Love 

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection; a person or things that one loves.

Valentine’s Day  is normally associated with couples, lovers, relationships. But, if we are going to look at this day at face value, it is not meant for just those people in relationships.
Love has no boundaries, is not meant for specific people or relationships, is not meant to be restricted by people.

We need to recognize love in our life that does not come from a significant other. We need to recognize love from other people, from other things, and from moments in life. Love is not bound to a boyfriend or girlfriend, or to a person for that matter.

 

Love comes from our family

Love comes from our friends


Love comes from our pets

Love comes from studying what we like in school

Love comes from pursuing our dreams 

Love comes from ourselves appreciating our worth 

Love comes from those laughs shared with people who know us

Love comes from the apology from someone close

Love comes from the sunrise

Love comes from your past, your present and your future

 

So Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. I hope you feel the love today!

 

xOx

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Travel, it says a lot about you

EE - Grand Canyon (24)

I recently was beyond lucky enough to travel to the Grand Canyon. I cannot explain the feeling of standing on those billions of years old rocks. (Yes, I said billions.)

But what I learned from this trip out to Arizona is that there is so much out there for us to discover. We are all so wrapped up in our personal worlds that we don’t give a second thought to what else may be out there for us. We become so tied down to where we live for school or live for a job that we don’t realize there are more option than one.

We think we know beauty based on where we grew up. Tennessee’s mountains are so different from Colorado mountains. The North Carolina beaches are radically opposite of Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches which are different from California’s sandy seaside landscapes. If you think you’re “tired” of nature, you are just bored with what is around you. Get out and explore.

We learn so much about the planet when we travel, but also we learn a lot about ourselves. If you take a moment to sit silently, soaking in the sounds, smells, and sights, you will find yourself in an earthly heaven.

I have some stubborn friends who say where they live is the only scenery they need; they don’t care about visiting the West coast, East coast, the North or the South. I’m sad for them. Their closed-mindedness is unfortunate. I’m sad they cannot appreciate a beauty that isn’t theirs. It also says a lot about their character: they are unable to see the other side of things. If people don’t feel it’s necessary to travel, learn other cultures or ways of life, to see things not familiar to them, then these are people are afraid of change, who are unable to accept something different.

I’m just glad I’m not like that. Nor is my family. Thankfully I have been raised to appreciate all things natural, all things beautiful, all things different.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

@zachrielle_photo on Instagram

xOx

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