Keeping My Passion For Travel Strong While Back Home

It is AMAZING how just spending one evening having dinner and drinks with someone from another country, swapping travel stories and life experiences can really effect a person. 

Yesterday, I reached out to someone on Couchsurfing who was passing through San Luis Obispo, and asked if they wanted to meet up. We ended up going out to dinner, walking around town, and talking for hours. 

It made me realize just how much I was starved for interaction with other travelers, and I am slowly starting to forget just how passionate I am about saving up as much as I can and embarking on my next adventure.

When you are back home, it is easy to justify spending your money on cute clothes in shop windows, going out with your friends every weekend, eating out at your favorite restaurants. I mean, I haven’t had the opportunity to go to these places or see these people in years, right?! I now realize that I am starting to do these things more in excess than moderation, and that I am missing out on saving more money and taking a longer time to reach my savings goal. 

We will most likely never see each other again (like most travel relationships), but it is incredible how just spending this one evening with someone can effect me so much. I am very thankful to my new German friend for helping me re-focus on the things that are important to me and get me back on track, saving again. 

If you are a traveler that is back home saving for an upcoming trip, I strongly (super strongly!) urge you to get on CouchSurfing. You don’t even have to host people (although I have before, and it is tons of fun). You can just offer to take them out and show them around the area. The conversation and good company, even if just for a day or two, will help keep that fire in you that is burning for travel, ignited. 

I know I’ll certainly be doing it more often.

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Have you been on CouchSurfing before? What has been your experience of it? What else keeps you focused on saving for your travel adventures? 

Finding Happiness At Home

I am so excited to make my first big announcement of 2013…

I’M MOVING (BACK) TO SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA!

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As most of you already know, I finished my last big traveling adventure (for now) in November 2012 and have been back in California the last 3 months, staying with some family friends in the Sacramento area. I chose to be up there in NorCal when I got back because I figured it would be easier for me to find a job in suburbia - given all the shopping and strip malls. Turns out, even though there may be more job openings, there are also a LOT more unemployed people, and, when you don’t have a car, you are kind of limited to places only within a few miles radius from home.  

Basically - I was screwed. 

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Here is a great article just posted on Thought Catalog (my addiction!) by an inspiring young woman who didn’t feel happy in her life and decided to do something about it. 

Instead of settling, she took her 6 years of savings and hopped on a plane to India. 

Sound a bit familiar? Sound fun? Sound scary? 

Sounds pretty damn awesome to me!

Check out the story through the link above and be sure to come back and tell me what you think.

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Travel Video Awesomeness: Postcard From Bali

What an incredibly beautiful place. 

The colors…

The people…

The lifestyle. 

This beautiful country has a very prominent place on my list of places to visit and I hope to make it happen in the next few years. 

Can’t wait to be walking barefoot on a beach there…

Where is your dream destination? 

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My Friend, The Traveler: “Swiggy” from the States

It’s baaaaaaack!

Man, I absolutely LOVE these interviews I have been doing with friends that I have made from around the world. They always remind me of my own stories and experiences I have had, and get me so pumped up for all the traveling I still intend on doing. 

It is my hope that by reading these, you also have a similar desire to embark on your own journey and have your own crazy stories to share with the world. 

Maybe skip that next Starbucks, or buy generic instead of name brand, and instead, put that extra money in savings towards a trip for yourself…that money starts adding up.

Even if you only want to go to a city that is only a 2 hour drive away, GO. It’s still traveling. It’s still adventuring somewhere new. 

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This week on My Friend, The Traveler, we meet Mike “Swiggy” Swigunski. We met about a year ago through mutual friends when I was in Prague, and he was teaching at a university there. 

Swiggy has done quite a bit of traveling and living in different places, so he, of course, has a lot of insight to share with those who have never done much travel, or are just starting out. 

Enjoy!  

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When I see travel’s influence on my life, I can’t afford to have a life that is absent of it. I am my best version of myself when I’m traveling and upon immediately returning. One day I may meet a girl on my travels who challenges my love affair with travel by having such an impact on my own life, prompting me to make room for both, but until then, and long after, I’ll keep a packed bag by the door with no regrets.

Do You Want To Have A Year That Matters?

Let’s cut the crap. Life is short, you have less time than you think, and there are no baby unicorns coming to save you. So rather than doling out craptastic advice to you about Making!! It!! To!! The!! Top!!™, let me humbly ask: do you want to have a year that matters — or do you want to spend another year starring-slash-wallowing in the lowest-common-denominator reality show-slash-whiny soap opera of your own inescapable mediocrity-slash-self-imposed tragedy?

This is the first paragraph of an article recently written by Umair Haque for the Harvard Business Review, titled “How To Have a Year That Matters.”

Before even finishing that first paragraph, I was in love. (With the article, not Umair - although I am sure he is a top-notch guy.) 

I am obsessed with writing like this. The ass-kicking, motivational kind that doesn’t sound cheesy or fake, splattered with clichés - just honest.

It asks the straight-forward questions. The questions that don’t bullshit you, but just gets to the point and gets you thinking. 

  • Why are you here?
  • What do you want?
  • How much does it matter?
  • What’s it going to take?
  • Who’s on your side? 

Hell yes.  

This got me thinking about a lot of things. About a lot of decisions I need to make. Decisions that will make a difference in the rest of my year, and possibly my life. (Woah, scary.) 

My mind started racing like crazy, but it was the good kind that brought a smile to my face and a feeling that good things are about to happen. 

However, if I want this year to be one to really impact me, and one that I can be proud of, then they are decisions that I have to make (or start making) NOW, instead of sitting on my ass catching up on episodes of New Girl and stuffing my face with yummy chips and salsa. 

Don’t let this year be another year that flies right by you. Grab it by the balls. Show life what you are made of. 

Make this year matter. 

And you can start by doing yourself a favor and reading the article now. 

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Travel Video Awesomeness: Make It Count

This is one of my favorite travel videos that I have ever come across. 

Life is short.

And unpredictable.

Why spend our lives working in a job that we don’t enjoy, in a city we don’t love, buying things we don’t need?

Your life should be something to be proud of. To enjoy every single day. 

What is it that makes you happy?

What can you do to make your life better? 

What do you enjoy? 

DO THOSE THINGS.

We are only given one life. Make it a life that you love. A life that makes you wake up every day with a smile on your face. 

Why not start now?

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