its 6am, i am rested, alert at the moment, but most likely jet lagged.
i woke up with these words forming in my head, so i knew it was time to write.
i’m just back from this month abroad, in spain and portugal. my 4th year of the past 6, taking a month off to see a part of the world. originally, the trip that gave me my career…opened my eyes to photography. something, now, that because of travel…drastically changed my life forever.
i’ve had this thought floating around my head the past few weeks.
TRAVEL AND WHAT IT DOES TO YOU.
spending a good amount of time in other cultures, observing, seeing ways of life. these things, have impacted my vision of life more than anything else.
sweden taught me simplicity.
australia, the sweetness in taking time with your family and friends outside, every week. that life is bigger than work.
the philippines, spirit and generosity to anyone you come across.
cambodia, incredible joy no matter what your life circumstances.
spain, to relax and slow down. and that there is nothing lazy about having a sense to know where you’re at and if you need rest.
italy, nothing can rival the moments that come from a 4 hour dinner, surrounded by those you love.
costa rica, how the ocean near you brings people together in a different way.
thailand. london. paris. finland. mexico. vietnam. germany. they’ve all taught me things.
these are things that have greatly impacted my view of the world. of how i live my life. how i see and go after things. the immense beauty there is in a life. i feel these things down to my core. being amongst another culture, and not just ‘seeing’ it but being in it for an amount of time, seeing norms, culture and differences in some of the most simple things has been one of the most impacting factors in how i live my life. how i plan my future. what is important to me.
and i’ve learned, this isnt something i do once and become forever impacted by. spending time in new places of the world is something i will always need to do, to continue to learn. to remember what it does to me. to spark new thoughts, be impacted in a new way. i’ve learned that travel is an on-going lesson in my life, and one that is very important for my growth.
growing up, my dad took every opportunity – whether a movie plot, yard work, athletics, whatever it may be – to teach a lesson. to shine on how it impacted character. something, i’m very thankful for. so now, when i think about travel and the significance to attributes i hold as central to my character, there is no price i could put on the value from what i have learned in my time abroad.
and it is not all about luxury. the places i’ve been.
when you get out from your comfort.
your 600 thread count sheets.
your perfect wifi service and unlimited data.
when you put yourself in someone else’s way of life. your flaws come out. you are challenged. you grow. you do not return, the same as you left.
i’ve been taught patience // trust // to let things roll off my back // to choose my battles and weigh what actually matters // that a person is just a person, no matter where you are….in your building or across the world // years ago, it healed thoughts i had about food // to stop being so effing uptight about life // that thong bikinis are one of the greatest things you can choose for yourself // its revealed some pretty dynamic things abut my relationships. brought light to one i thought i would be in forever and then showed how incredible and long lasting another was // tremendously influences how i will raise my children and teach them about living // it has been one of the biggest impacts on my faith // and that, no matter where you are, nothing will ever be as good as home. // it has, in whole, impacted my way of life more than anything else as an adult.
in hindsight, some of the biggest blessings and most defining points of my life have been tied to travel.
writing this. i cant believe it. that i am 27, and i have been able to see and learn the things i have so far.
thank you lord.
of course travel travel is mostly considered a luxury, and i have been so blessed to be able to see and go to where i have in my life. but i believe that travel is much more attainable than most people think. when you focus on the cost all-together, you miss a huge point of what you will be getting from it. it is so much more about than a ticket price. so many places, outside of the US are completely more affordable to travel, eat and see than americans build into their head about cost. save. dont buy shit you dont need. be disciplined. make food at home, save the $60 you want to spend on holiday candles.
i think the excuse of the american life of busy and money being in the way…is real, however total bullshit and i will never succumb to that train of thought. not now, now when i am married and not when i have kids. that thought is bred into us as americans, sadly. and it is just not true. it is not about luck, or wealth or a certain job. travel is something you make happen when you know the value of your personal growth as a human that comes thru it.
im sure that could come off pretentious, but i really dont care. it is my truth.
life is this unpredictable, wonderful, ever-waning, sweet, often overwhelming presence. i have the tendency to get caught in my list. to get locked in a train of thought that removes the daily joys in exchange for achieving my goals. now, at 27, i have intense gratitude that travel has been a beacon of light in my life. giving light to what i should be, how i should see the days. i have always marched to the beat of my own drum, always. and i can see now, that being immersed in others cultures and way of life has been a saving grace to my self as i would have been on my own.
the world is a smaller and yet much bigger place than i imagine.
i am so grateful for the way the world has impacted who i am.
some images from Spain and Portugal. more to come.
i am home. my baby is within walking distance. christmas is around the corner. this is my happy place.