As I get ready to turn 30, I sit here and reminisce the amazing opportunities and life experiences that I have gone through. I have had the chance to explore many places around the world and I have to admit, I still have so much more to to see! But traveling has provided me a beautiful experience filled with endless memories, photos, flavors, scents, but most importantly it has shaped me to be the person I am today.
This is why I decided to write this post. I believe that it is critical for every single human being to travel. But let me define what travel means....Traveling doesn't mean you have to travel 13 hours on plane to go to the most secluded place in the universe; Traveling means going outside of your normal boundaries.
You can start you travel journey by exploring your own city! For one day, leave your own neighborhood and spend your day in another area of your city. Walk through that neighborhood, eat at a mom and pop restaurant, and make sure that you talk to the local residents of that area. Trust me the things you will learn in one day, just in your own city, will leave you craving more.
However, the experience of getting in a car or train or plane to see a whole new state, city, country is definitely priceless. Personally, the change of landscape allows me to become more creative and think of how I can use everything I am seeing and observing to share with the world. For others, it is a moment of self-reflection; allowing you to dig deeper and appreciate what mother nature has set forth for all of us to enjoy.
You don't have to be rich to travel (so let's start destroying that stigma), you just have to have a will and a way. If you are curious to see other places and explore what else is out there, then you will figure out a way to do it within your budget. Just keep in mind that traveling can be as expensive as you want it to be.
I have done it all when it comes to traveling on a budget! I have stayed at 5 star hotels and slept on airport floors. I have eaten french bread with jamon serrano to street food to a meal at a Michelin restaurant. Both extremes of traveling are experiences that everyone should go through. Why? because you learn through your own struggles when you are traveling. You learn how you like to travel and the things you don't want to do when you are traveling. You start to break your own barriers and boundaries that allows you to be a bit more flexible with your surroundings and sensitive to your own pocket.
Here is what I do so I can travel as often as I can: 1. There are a lot of things that I don't normally enjoy or purchase when I am home that allows me to afford a $250 ticket to go to NYC or Miami for the weekend. 2. I travel quite often for work (surprise, surprise, I am not one of the lucky bloggers who blogs for a living) so I save those miles and use them for last minute weekend trips such as my latest trip to Belgium (I headed there the beginning of February to celebrate my mother's 60th birthday).
I wish I could be one of those travel writers/bloggers that say "I save money from my everyday job to travel". Yeah that is not my case. In all honesty, I suck at saving for my favorite hobby. I mean, I know how to save but it's not for traveling. Isn't that mind boggling?! However, I'm not saying this is a best practice, because it isn't but I'm being real here...you don't need to come up with a huge savings plan to take that trip of your dreams.
Here is a solid tip I can give you: If you save $1,000 you can purchase a ticket to go to two cities in the U.S. (i.e. Fly to Philadelphia and take the train to NYC or D.C.) and still have about $500 left to pay for hotel, local transportation, museum access and meals. Yes, it's possible. It really is. However, if you are dreaming to go to Europe then you need a bit more than $1,000 for a week long trip since the Euro is a bit stronger than the dollar. BUT if you book a $1,000 ticket to Thailand and save $800 you can travel through Thailand and stay at comfortable, clean hotels, and have some amazingly cheap meals! .
..see where I am going here.. IT. IS. POSSIBLE. TO. TRAVEL. Travel is at the tip of your fingers, you just need to take that first step towards it and you will see how amazing the world is once you leave your own boundaries. So don't be afraid to travel, it's not that scary. It can be liberating! Go explore your hometown, your state, your country, or even other countries...trust me it will change your life. It has for me!