Tag Archives: Girlfriends Travel

“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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Baby I Was Born This Way!

4 Mar

So it’s official. We are booking the 7 day Greek Isle Cruise out of Venice. Yes I love to cruise – I am one of those people – Angie refuses to set foot on a boat – Melanie hates it..well strongly dislikes it would be more accurate..it’s the food – but me – I LOVE IT!  (That’s another blog in itself.) I haven’t been excited about much lately and I gotta say – it feels good to be excited about this. Things could not of come together more perfectly!

The original plan was to fly abroad on July 5th spend the next 10 days touring Belgium, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Germany – do a couple of days in Paris and then head down to the South of France for a 7 day private tour of the region.  After the South of France we will take a train into Espana and spend a few days in my beloved Barcelona before heading to NYC – and three days in Lilydale. Wow. I just felt tired thinking about all that.  Must reframe the brain around that. I’m also putting it out there that I am absolutely – completely refusing to experience jet lag at anytime during this trip. So here is why I was speculating as to whether or not the cruise thing would work out.. The dates I was available to cruise were very limited. I had to be back on land by the 5th of July – not a day later and while I am willing to come back to port a few days early..I couldn’t get off the ship on say the 27th or 28th of June. Toiling around in Europe for an extra week can cost the big bucks…even with all my budget savvy trip saving tactics in place. And lastly I’ve been a lot of places that are common cruise destinations and I was having a very hard time finding a cruise that visited – new to me- locations. My number one choice and where I wanted to go was the Greek Isles and imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an American cruise line, going to all my dreamy top choice ports and leaving from one of my favorite places and all the dates were perfect and the price is incredible!! Wow that was a run on sentence. Now all I am asking the Universe for is a plane ticket to Europe round trip for under $1000. Yep – there it is Universe. I’d like one of those please.

So all in all I will be gone for approximately 38 days…and I deserve every single one of those glorious vacation days as do you my fellow readers and friends. Now Angie on the other hand. She’d be freaking out. She is only participating in the last couple legs of the trip. She’s a very routine oriented person and doesn’t like to be away from home longer than 10 days. I have no idea why because as soon as she gets home and gets settled in she starts complaining about wanting to go somewhere and being bored every single day.  Being a teacher she has the whole summer off and she goes very stir crazy.  I suppose it’s just how she is – she was born that way and I clearly was not.  However both ways are perfect …unless she’s making me come home early from a trip. Just kidding. I really think I have Gypsy blood if there is such a thing. I want to see the entire planet. All the time. While I do love my squishy soft pillow top California King bed and the comforts of home – I’d gladly swap them for an adventure abroad- heck an adventure anywhere – wait I have to be straight with you-  I’m not the best ‘rough it’ camper. I’ll do it – for a few days. Then I’m out. And ‘rough it’ camper means hot water and a toilet to me. Now my sister on the other hand…she requires a rock star tour bus in order to agree to camp..so at least I am not that bad.  🙂 Love you sissy.

Alrighty then…lets wrap this blog up. Next friday we are starting the “Why we love to travel, why we think you should too and why you deserve it” series of posts. Really I am just so full of run on sentences tonight. I’ve never said this was a good grammar blog. Hahahaha . Melanie is currently on a cruise ship – I told her to claim she had a gluten allergy which ensures every single meal is made fresh for her – so hopefully she took my advice and has become a converted cruise lover  ❤ .  I really am allergic to gluten as is Angie, so my eating experience on a cruise is very different from most people’s.  I order what I want specifically the night before dinner and everything is made fresh and is allergen free – just for me!!  I just get so excited about cruising.  I think it’s the hot balmy sexy nights at sea and the sun drenched days in exotic places. Ok – focus Eden. On that note I will leave you with an amazing little girl belting out Lady Gaga’s latest jam…in  honor of Angie being ‘born that way’.  🙂

So Much LOVE,

Eden