3 Lessons I’ve Learned About Travel

I wanted the first post on our blog to be a why. Then we’ll be breaking into the how as we go. Stay tuned!

Here’s the story from my side:

I’ve always been a traveler at heart.  Always seeking out the next adventure.  When I was 19, I flew to New York City….by myself….to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. Yeah it was awesome. I had a friend who was living on the east coast ask if anyone wanted to go to the concert. (as Billy Joel had announced that he was not going to be touring any longer – although he ended up continuing to tour for years and years after that) No one else was able to make it, and the thought of just taking off to New York was just too good to pass up! My east coast friend who originally was planning on attending ended up not being able to make it. So there I was. 19 years old and about to embark on my first solo adventure!

Lesson 1: Don’t wait! Never wait for someone else to do something that you truly want to do. Just do it! *Tweet that, yo! 

The trip was super short notice and I went off on my own without a worry. And let me just say, it was EPIC!  I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m pretty sure this is when I was bitten. The short NYC trip led me to apply for performing arts school in NYC, and move there the following year. Up until then, I had never considered living outside of Seattle, my hometown.

After finishing school in NYC, I found myself working, auditioning as much as I could, and living off Top Ramen like all of the other actors I knew. I gradually grew less and less happy where I was and gravitated to the travel section at Boarders Books. Everyday I learned about a new place I wanted to travel to. Ireland. Easter Island. New Zealand. Peru. How could I get to these places? And how long could I stay? What about a work visa? Were they easy to come by? The more I researched, the more the reality set in. I was broke. Living in a city where it was difficult to stay out of debt, let alone have a savings of any kind. I made the tough decision to move back to Seattle, and in with my parents. (thanks mom and pops!) I worked my tail off for a year, saving every penny with 3 jobs.
Finally, I was able to save enough for a solo trip around Europe.

Lesson 2: Do what you have to do to follow your passion and don’t be afraid to ask for help. *Tweet that, yo! 

girl at Bocca della Verità

Awww, look at little 24 year old me! Finding a new adventure around every corner.

My trip was two months and ten countries. It was a whirlwind and an amazing experience. With the philosophy that there was no way to see everything at once, I had the plan in my back pocket that I would someday return.

Lesson 3: Enjoy the moments and focus on what you love. Don’t let the fear of “missing out” on something dictate your travels.
*Tweet that, yo! 

I brought back from my trip to Europe,  a new sense of can-do as well as a new found passion for photography. I had always taken photos with whatever camera I had at the time,  but being able to really capture my experience at a new location was truly amazing. I loved sharing my photos when I returned. Of course now I shudder at the quality of them, but for me at the time, it was such a clear representation of my journey. I’m so glad that I took the time to appreciate the little moments and not just jump from landmark to museum.

Over the years, I’ve taken a few other shorter trips including Mexico, Argentina and even back to Europe. But I always knew that I wanted more. To live in another country for a year or at least make travel a larger, more frequent part of my life.

Enter Jake. On our first date I asked him, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Without even skipping a beat he answered, “Ireland”. Yeah, I knew there was something there. Fast forward in our relationship, and I asked, “Would you ever live abroad for a year?” Again, he answered “yes”. While we were both on the same page about long-term travel, it wasn’t until Jake, on our third anniversary asked the all-important question, “What if we sold everything and traveled the world?” (to which I enthusiastically answered, “YES!”) , that really got our wheels in motion.

Now, we’re planning our trip. Oh, and a wedding… no big deal. The plan is to be international for at least a year and when we return to make travel a higher priority in our lives. I just can’t wait to see where the road takes us!

 

Woman and man arm and arm.

Off we go! The future is wide open.

 

Your turn! We are excited to connect with other dreamers and adventurers!
Have you decided to take a huge risk in your life?
Tell us about it in the comments!

 

6 Comments

  • solosophie says:

    I really liked your article; particularly the third reason. If you’re constantly waiting around, then you’ll never go out and see the world 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks for the comment Sophie! Agreed. It’s not worth waiting for more money, another person, a full moon, *insert other reason here* to follow your passions. Happy travels!

  • Rah Ul says:

    I liked that part about asking help from others. Traveling teaches you how to be humble and putting your ego aside to have a better experience. 🙂

  • Lane says:

    Love your story, Danielle! That is incredible. Just read your other post. Sounds like you guys are off for a wild adventure. My girlfriend and I are planning a move to Spain. For you, what was the most difficult part of preparing for this next phase in your life? best wishes!

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks, Lane! Spain sounds amazing. I can’t wait to explore more of that country on our travels. Great question. The most difficult thing in preparing for this chapter was really changing my mindset. I was all about the travel, but we are completely changing our way of life. When you are planning a vacation, it’s a bit different, but when you want to try out a life on the road, how you approach decisions is different. Saying goodbye to friends, family was harder, and of course managing finances to be sustainable. Whew! So far, it’s so worth it! Where in Spain are you moving?

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