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.

image

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. 

image

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!  

Read More

Do You Want To Have A Year That Matters?

image

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. 

image

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?

image

Travel Video Awesomeness: Time Is Nothing.

Stop.

Stop whatever you are doing just for a few minutes and please watch this video. 

LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL OUR WORLD IS.

What the hell are you doing staying in one place?? 

Go see more. Do More. Experience more

Life isn’t about what kind of car you drive, or what cool new piece of technology you now own. 

It is about living. 

There is no way of knowing how much time you may have left. 

Wouldn’t you rather spend what time you do have going to beautiful places like these? 

What is keeping you? 

image

Travel Video Awesomeness: I Believe I Can Fly

The only words that came to mind when I first watched this video from beginning to end?

HOLY FUCK.

As someone who does not have a fear of heights, but has a completely paralyzing fear of falling, there were definite parts of this movie that made me feel nauseous. And shaky.

I could never imagine in my life ever doing something as ridiculous and insane as this.

More power too these crazy Frenchies!

What was your reaction when watching this video?

image   

Quote of the Week: Week 5

image

"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." 

-Rainer Rilke

Today marks the very last day of 2012.

To me, 2012 is also know as the best year of my life so far. 

The places that I have been fortunate to go and the things I have been able to do… 

I have rung in the new year in Prague, worked on a film set in London, smoked sheesha in Bosnia, snorkeled in the clear beautiful water of Croatia, and moved my life temporarily back to California. 

Most importantly, I have met some of the most incredible people this year who have helped make it one to remember.

Each new year always seems to bring amazing and wonderful experiences to my life and I will be welcoming 2013 with open arms.

Happy New Year everyone!  

image

Travel Video Awesomeness: Where the hell is Matt?

One of my absolute FAVORITE things in this world is coming across really great and inspiring travel videos - and there are A LOT out there. 

When ever I find one that really strikes something in me, I get this overwhelming feeling that I need to share it with everyone that I know. I want them to feel what I feel when watching them….

For this particular video, I was a bit confused at the beginning at what was even going on, thinking to myself “Okay….so this guy is just going to jump up and down like a fool in a bunch of places? Well, at least he is enjoying himself!” But, then I kept watching…and I am so glad that I did. 

About 10 seconds later, when the rest joined in all of a sudden, this incredible wave of happiness suddenly washed over me, and before I knew it, I was crying (Tears of joy of course, but crying nonetheless!), and my entire body was covered in chills. 

Not only do you get to see a lot of beautiful places and faces when watching this video, but it just makes you happy to see all of these people come together, have fun, act like fools, and enjoy life. 

We should all be doing more things like this. 

I hope you watch and feel what I felt…

image

I don’t know about you, but one thing that really helps me stay inspired to save my money to go traveling again is by looking at photos of the places I really want to go and visit. So, to keep me on the path towards reaching my goal of X amount of money to head to these places, I create collages to set as my desktop wallpaper on my laptop, since it is where I spend a lot of my time writing and researching.
This one in particular was made a month or so ago and includes photos of Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. I just love all the different colors and landscapes!
Anytime I feel like going shopping, or spending money on things I really don’t need, having these photos to look at really help remind me what my main goal is of saving money to hopefully reach these places soon. 
What about you? What do you use as money saving inspiration for your travels? What places would be in your collage? 

I don’t know about you, but one thing that really helps me stay inspired to save my money to go traveling again is by looking at photos of the places I really want to go and visit. So, to keep me on the path towards reaching my goal of X amount of money to head to these places, I create collages to set as my desktop wallpaper on my laptop, since it is where I spend a lot of my time writing and researching.

This one in particular was made a month or so ago and includes photos of Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal. I just love all the different colors and landscapes!

Anytime I feel like going shopping, or spending money on things I really don’t need, having these photos to look at really help remind me what my main goal is of saving money to hopefully reach these places soon. 

What about you? What do you use as money saving inspiration for your travels? What places would be in your collage? 

image