The traveling bug has been nipping at me for a while now, but these days, I'm feeling the bite. I don't know about y'all, but I suffer from a certain kind of cabin fever that is only cured by a passport stamp and a plane trip to a far-off, usually warm, but always beautiful place. The other day, I was on a bus from my hometown back to Toronto. Driving down the 401 on a grey, rainy day had me daydreaming about the days gone by when I left the raindrops, snowflakes, loonies and toonies behind for more exotic temperatures and currency. Now I'm sitting here, trying to count my loonies and toonies and save up for another trip away from home...
Having parents from another country helped to spark my love of traveling early in life. Visiting family, whether in the U.S. or Caribbean, was always a great excuse to get away. As I grew older, I found friends and partners who shared that love of travel, which made it easy to plan amazing and memorable excursions. Traveling on my own also taught me a lot of lessons in common sense, and forced me to be comfortable with my own company in unfamiliar surroundings. Regardless, each trip I've been on has been an experience I won't soon forget. Dancing to Waka Flocka in a bathrobe at the Four Seasons in Vegas while eating a $7 bag of gummy bears? I did that. Getting over my fear of heights by traveling on a ropeline over Japan's Seito Sea? I did that. Eating Patsy's bake and shark while kicking up sand at Maracas Beach in Trinidad? I did that. Traveling has opened my mind to things that I never would have thought possible - and it's an experience I think that everyone needs to embrace.
I've had pricier trips (Japan), cheaper trips (Boston, Miami), and damn-near-free trips (Vegas - thanks to my old company), but my love of traveling forces me to find a way regardless. Expedia and iTravel2000 have given me access to CRAZY deals on flights and hotels. Having extended family in other cities and countries helps with a place to stay or a seasoned travel guide to take me around. Saving my pennies for a trip I really wanted to take is hard work, but pays off as soon as that plane lands safely in my travel destination...there's nothing like that feeling.
There's absolutely nothing like getting out of the familiar and jumping into a brand new space. My favourite thing about traveling is that it ignites my senses. Different tastes, smells, sounds, sights, and textures (literal - the feel of velvety black sand between my toes; figurative - the overwhelming feeling of history while visiting a Japanese shrine) give me gifts that I can't get any other way.
Looking for motivation or other like-minded travelers? Check out Nomadness TV, a dope travel and life blog that has me ready to hop on a plane back to Asia. Oneika The Traveler is another travel goddess (and fellow Canuck!) whose love of teaching helped to get her all around the world. Want to make a HUGE life change? Read "Quit Your Job, Travel The World" on Clutch Magazine for some inspiration.
As for me, I'm currently saving my loonies and toonies for a weekend getaway to Philadelphia for the Blogging While Brown conference in June. After that, who knows. You might just catch me on a beach in Bali...a girl can dream!
Do you travel for work or pleasure? What has been your favourite trip to date? Where is your dream destination? Is anything holding you back from traveling? Let a sista know!