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“Take the First Step in Faith”

1 Apr

There is a saying by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”. This sums up my entire travel philosophy. Some people are planners, down to each and every detail. This does have a certain value. However, to me, the excitement in travel is the unknown, and the freedom to change plans on a whim.

My very first trip to Europe alone was planned this way:                                                                                                                                                          1. Purchase roundtrip open-ended ticket to Paris and Euro Rail pass
2. Buy a map of Europe and keep in mind some countries/towns/landmarks I want to visit
3. Go! And figure it out along the way…

And while life has brought me to the place where I no longer have to stay in hostels and fit my worldly belongings into a backpack for three months, I still enjoy the nomadic freedom of travel in much the same way as I did in my early 20’s. Only in nicer hotels. And with more luggage. And shoes. 🙂

If taking a vacation or even a quick getaway seems like a huge deal, there’s so much to plan, it has to be perfect, and so on… Let those feelings go. Planning a trip can be as simple as:                                                                                                                                                                  1. Decide on a destination and buy ticket.
2. Make a reservation at a hotel for one night with the option of extending. This way you have a place to check into and get some rest. If you love it, stay. Or, check out the other options and decide from there.
3. Get out and explore! Meet some locals and ask questions. Where do they like to eat? Are there farmer’s markets? What is the location known for?

Have fun with it and don’t feel like you have to do what everybody else does. In Florence Italy and don’t care to see the David? Don’t! (Although it is beautiful…) Customize your trip so that you enjoy it to the fullest, not like it was planned out by a tourism agency. The best times for me, are the ones that are spontaneous and exciting. Even though I buy a travel book for each place I go to, it’s mostly so I will have something to read on the plane and to put on my bookshelf as a nice memory when I get home. Once I am at my destination, it’s time to immerse myself into the culture and create my own adventure.

Another way to make planning a trip easier is to ignore the idea that a trip isn’t worth it if it’s shorter than a week, or two weeks. Who made up that rule anyway?? I once flew to Stockholm for the weekend. No rules, no pressure, not even time to get jet-lagged! I just found a really cheap ticket (it was Sweden in November) and decided to check it out.

As your trip is coming to an end and you are getting ready to head home, wouldn’t it be more fun to look back on all the amazing experiences you had instead of feeling regret that you only checked off certain things that were on your ‘list’, or wishing you had more free time?

Once you let go of the pressure of having everything planned out, and making sure you stick to that perfect plan, you will be able to enjoy a sense of freedom… Just take that first step.

Love,

Melanie

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Traveling is like meditation – an escape from everyday life.

25 Mar

An escape from your everyday life creates space for adventure; meeting new people, trying new things, taking risks, bonding with your travel  partners and overall broadening your perspective.

Planning the trip alone is obviously one of the most significant parts of travel.  Everything from booking the dates, packing your favorite lip-gloss and bronzer, getting to the airport, parking, entertainment for the flight, what to wear on the flight, accommodations, supplies and MOST important…who you are with!

The actual travel time is a very important element of travel and it’s all about the food.  Where will I find organic eggs, kale and other super foods on the go?  Since my diet mostly consists of whole foods, traveling and eating healthy is challenging!  And eating right on the flight can make your traveling time so much more enjoyable.  Who wants a big greasy meal in their belly while you are in a bubble 35,000 feet in the air?  Trust me, you’ll feel better when you arrive at your destination with good stuff in your tummy and more energy.

I’ve compiled a few of my best “eating right on the road” tips including foods that travel well.

1.    Dark chocolate…a must!
2.    Small organic apples, high fiber and sweet.
3.    Nuts of any kind, great protein and filling.
4.    EmergenC or Airborne packets, keeps the immune system strong.
5.    Most delis have hard-boiled eggs these days, but in a jam I will order a side of scrambled from Mickey D’s.
6.    Tea bags for the flight, ginger is my fave…good for digestion.
7.    Sides of steamed veggies at fast food ethnic restaurants at airports.
8.    Make a salad at home for the flight.  A salad at Starbucks is nearly ten dollars!
9.    Avoid tempting soda beverages…ask for sparkling water mixed with cranberry juice and fresh lime.  The flight attendant will definitely think you are high maintenance, or a celebrity.
10.  Yogurt cups with fruit on the bottom…skip the sugar and don’t mix it!

         

Most airports today feature health-oriented options; however planning ahead will always make your trip more enjoyable.  One of my favorite sayings “you are what you eat.”  Mind, Body & Spirit…always.  Whether I’m home or on the road, nurturing my body with healthy food is essential to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

With all of this said, traveling is important for me in order to feel balance in my life.  To get out of my daily element and surround myself with newness; from the time I walk out my door, to the moment I return, I don’t have to sacrifice my lifestyle…it just goes with me.

Happy healthy travels!

The World is Calling…. ANSWER!

18 Mar
So I asked each one of the girls to write a post  about why they love to travel, what they enjoy most about it,  why it’s important to them and why they think it’s important for all us.  Each  of them responded to my prompt a little differently and I think you will really enjoy reading each perspective. Angela’s is first in line  and you will find it below. If you like what you’ve read or it speaks to you – please leave Angie a comment! We write this blog to not only chronicle our adventures for our own enjoyment  🙂 hahaha but to inspire and motivate each one of you to take care of yourselves, nurture your soul and to stay connected to the knowing that you deserve a vacation! – Eden
 
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There comes a time when you have to leave the nest and go out into the world. I’m not talking about when you’re 18 and have to get a job and start paying the bills, I’m talking about when you have to leave the comfort of  your home and visit the world we live in.

This moment arrived for me when I was in my early twenties. I was going to school in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and had just moved up from California.  Being a child and teenager in Southern California, I had never felt the need to travel, because I believed I already had everything I needed where I was. However, when I moved to Oregon I got the chance to visit Eden in Hawaii. Used to the desert scenery, I was shocked to see the tropical and lush beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Since then, I was determined that there were other beauties in this world that I had to see as well.

Traveling is very important in my life because it allows me to understand the origins of other cultures. Living in America, a country that is wonderful because of its diversity, I am constantly exposed to people who celebrate and live differently than I do.  I love to explore the traditions and practices of other places and people when I travel, because it allows me to appreciate and understand the people I live with in my own community.

This winter I visited Anguilla. It was the first time I had been to the Caribbean, and I was looking forward to seeing some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Though the sand and ocean were breathtaking, and the sun was a glorious change to my home weather, I can’t say the beaches were my favorite part of the trip (even though I ended up in Anguilla simply by googling ‘most beautiful beaches in the world’ and that is where I was lead).  When I remember my stay in Anguilla, I remember the kind and hospitable people who made our stay feel welcome and sincere. I would go back again because I enjoyed the company of the native people and their lives.

Whether you travel on a plane to the other side of the world, or get in your car and drive to the other side of your city, you will see the differences in the way people live, and get to experience things you never knew existed. No matter what your destination is, the journey traveling takes you on will make you a more knowledgeable and embracing person.

Love,

Angela

PS> Go somewhere – you deserve it.