Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Expand your Travel Experiences

What would you do if you won the lottery? Travel! The most common response (aside from paying bills) is the desire so many of us have is to travel. 

Finances seem to be a main factor as to why we travel as often/infrequently as we do. Also, time is precious, and it can be difficult to request time off from work, school, and commitments. 

One thing I wish I would have done in undergraduate school was to study abroad. Many of my friends took the opportunity to temporarily study in another country, or even to travel for fun. I was nervous (and careless) with my finances in my early 20s, so I always felt like I was too broke to travel. 

I have recently decided to spend less on material things and spend more on experiences. I enjoy concerts, social outings, and wine tastings.... But I love to travel! I love majestic scenery, meeting new people, and the attractions/activities in other parts of the world are so appealing to me... And of course the social scene and food :)

One of my goals for 2014 was to take at least 3 trips (domestic) and plan for an international trip. Thankfully, I have amazing family and friends across several states that welcome me to stay with them, and give me more reason to "impluse buy" a flight as opposed to shop for a pair of shoes or jeans that I truly don't need. The international trip takes a little more research and savings. I would like visit Egypt, Dubai, Africa, Brazil, India, Thailand, South Korea, London, Paris, Rome, and Fiji. Uuff, Sounds like I may need that lottery to help :)

Las Vegas is always a fun city for me! I can't go wrong with Florida, and of course California is my #1 "go-to" place. But HOW is that I've never been to New York!? The Today Show is waiting for me! Well, not to worry friends, I will be making my first trip to the Big Apple this summer as a 30th Birthday gift to myself. Total so far in 2014: that will be 4 trips :) Mission accomplished!? Well...I think I will keep it ongoing.

Are YOU also Longing to Travel?
One of my favorite travel reads is: "Longing to Travel,"
This is a great source for those looking for educational insight, tips/tricks, lodging advice, reviews, etc. The blog is created by a young, married couple and close friends of mine, Pouneh and Chris, who share their personal experiences from their worldwide adventures, and future plans.

Traveling can add up, so I have to plan for the initial big spend of booking the flight. Then, lodging is another priority. Through many recommendations by friends, I will be using "Air BnB" to find a nice and affordable place to stay without breaking the bank or being on the outskirts of all the action.

Trip itinerary: I don't mean the flight number and departure/arrival times. I mean the FUN stuff! What TO DO when we travel? For a true "vacation" I love the all-inclusive packages for my tropical destinations. For other activities, I research the hot spots, landmarks, and recommendations from friends. 

I love to explore, hike, and dance. Therefore, I try to plan ahead or have ideas to do some sightseeing where I go, then find a well-known location to hike and enjoy the beautiful view, maybe go on a few excursions, and later on grab a bite to eat and join the nightlife.

I find that my travel experiences are rather healthy. I have a chance to take a short break from "reality" to unwind and destress. It allows me to be vulnerable and try new things, meet new people, and demonstrate my social skills or ability to think/act independently. I love sunrises and sunsets, so anywhere I can go with breathtaking scenery is a happy place for me. The diversity in our country is amazing, so I would like to see for myself how different cultures live and interact. I also like to keep myself educated by learning the history behind the places I travel to. And of course, trying different food is definitely a given. 

The world has so much to offer, and I don't want to miss opportunities to experience them. Traveling solo is something I would like to try one day (a tad intimidating, but I can do it), and traveling with those I love is always enjoyable.

In a nutshell, I highly encourage you to travel. Travel to a new town (even if you drive a few hours), hop on a flight and visit a new state, or save a few extra dollars and venture overseas. You will learn a lot about yourself, others, and our amazing world.

Bon Voyage!