The Right Time to Travel Is Always Now

When I talk to others about traveling, they always seem to say “I wish I could do that.” When in reality I say, “why don’t you?” Generally the response is, “it isn’t the right time.”

It isn’t the right time? FALSE.

It is always the right time.

Many people think there will be a perfect time to travel. When they have time off work, someone to travel with and have the perfect amount of savings. It is extremely hard to have all of those things align. That is why sometimes you just have to get up and go. Travel is something that has shaped me into who I am today. I have never known what the secret recipe to leave is. But, if you spend your whole life waiting for the right time, one day you will wake up and find you don’t have any time left. That your time is up.

Recently, I have had surgery and it has given me a new perspective. I am 22 and I had to have a surgery that most don’t have until they are way older. It gave me the thought, what if I don’t have as much time as I thought I did. Everyone always says that life is short. I think it just hit me that I don’t know how much time I am really given.  It has showed me that I haven’t seen even half of the places I want to see. While it might seem like a ridiculous statement to say at 22, I am not getting any younger. There are so many people I want to meet, places to go and even food to eat. Such a crazy thought that we don’t know how much time we are given in this life. Why not take advantage of every second we have?

Travel. If you are wondering if you should take the trip… YES. Please do, traveling will change your world. You will be challenged in new ways and will meet people that will shape your future. You cannot fear what is unknown, you must embrace it with courage. The travels that you have awaiting you are endless. All you have to do is buy the flight.

There will never be a perfect time. The people at home will always be there for you. Your health may not be. The window of opportunity may close.

Do you really want to wake up years from now regretting the things you didn’t do? Or laughing at the mistakes you did on your crazy adventures?

I think we both know the answer to that question.

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Waking up in a New Place

Waking up in a new place is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. There are endless possibilities. Some associate the unknown with fear, personally, I welcome it with curiosity. This curiosity of finding out what else is out there, is one of the most thrilling things to me. How wonderful that there is so much out there to explore. I find beauty in most things. So think about how much beauty in the world that you haven’t seen? What a beautiful thought. The beauty you see everyday, another person has never experienced. In all we take for granted in a day to day setting, someone else could be inspired by. These are some of the exact reasons I love to travel. There are so many beautiful things that my own eyes haven’t seen. Things that I must see! My wanderlust currently is Thailand. I can’t get it off my mind! Such a funny thought that there might be a girl there thinking the same thing about California, U.S. A place that I love and get to see the beauty of each day. If only time travel existed where I could switch places at this very moment. If only! Two summers ago, I stayed in L’ Escala, Spain with my father. As we were driving back from Nice, France we were exhausted from the drive and decided to stay in a small town on the coast. It was dark and we were in need of some serious sleep and stopped to stay at a small hotel. We went straight to bed and awoke to the sound of the water in the morning. I will never forget waking up and peering off of tL'Escala, Spainhe balcony. This was my view in the picture attached. It was such a beautiful place to wake up in the morning. Somewhere unplanned that in my memory is one of my favorite places. Maybe it was being with great company, my best friend/father or just the summer breeze, but I was so happy at this moment. Traveling with ones you love, gives you a luxury of comfort, where you don’t have to worry as much about safety. You can just relax and be present where you are. We walked along the coast and through market after market. I made purchases for my little sister and goddaughter from local women. It is a small fishing town that is a wonderful place to stay, with perfect sandy beaches. There are only 10,000 inhabitants, giving you a uniquely authentic experience. I encourage you to stop in the towns along the way, the ones in-between the huge cities like Barcelona and Nice. Often these are the cities that are overlooked, but are the most wonderful places to wake up to.

Wander.

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

Simply doing nothing at all can be the best thing you do when you travel.

When you travel there is a constant need to do and see everything. You feel as if you don’t see the thing everyone says to, that you “didn’t do it right.” I am here to say that is no true at all. It is just as important to go off the beaten path. Sometimes in searching for that exact destination, you miss the beauty of the place entirely.

One of my favorite days was when I was completely lost with two people I love. It was mid July and we had just traveled from Bilbao, Spain to the beautiful San Sebastian, Spain by bus. We were simply wandering until we found the beach. Once we did, it was clear why San Sebastian is a top destination. The beauty of the perfectly manicured beach was astonishing and almost unreal. I’ll never forget its beauty. We began to walk looking for our apartment, which is always the hardest part once you are in a new city. If you are ever looking for a cheap place to stay, grab a couple friends together and get an apartment from a local through AirBandB, they have listings in 190+ countries so you are bound to find something. Some of my best advice I can give is, try to find where you are staying without GPS on your cell phone. Wander. When you wander you stumble upon the parts of the city you aren’t “suppose to see.” Often these parts are the most beautiful. Also, being on a college student budget, the hostels/apartments are rarely in the nice parts of town.

On this particular day, two friends and I were a little bit lost. The rest of the group had decided to go get wifi and look up the location of the apartment, we kept walking. Which was one of the best decisions I made all summer. We stumbled upon a lookout of the city. It was perfect; a slight breeze, green grass and what looked like an old churches ruins. I loved this place. As we sat down on the hill, we were speechless at the beauty. Without even speaking we decided we would stay awhile. When you are in a place like that, with friends you love, you feel as if it is all you need. So easy to forget that we were lost, in a foreign country and that we were hungry/tired. We were travelers and we were enjoying the beautiful place that God had helped us to find. As we laid on the hill, a friend turned on music. I couldn’t tell you how long we laid there listening. Overlooking the water. I’m not sure if I have ever been more content in my life. This is a day that I will never forget.

So get lost, it is truly when you find yourself.

Friends Who Turn into Family

It is funny how the people you meet when you travel can change your life.

You might know them for a day, a week, a month. But, they make more of an impact on you than people you have known your entire life.

The way you grow close to these people is hard to explain.

These are the people that you; overlooked Lisbon, Portugal on a hostel balcony with, those that you danced with at a local festival into the late hours of the night, those that you laughed with because you found their right shoe on the front desk of the hostel, those that you got lost with and enjoyed every second with, those that you experienced views with that left you speechless, those that you played soccer with the local children of the area with, those that you zip lined with when you were scared of heights, those that you viewed art that you had no idea what its meaning was with, those that you sat on a hill and listened to music and forgot about the world with, those that you took to the dentist in San Sebastian, Spain because they knocked their front teeth out, those that you accepted a different culture fully with, those that you shared a wave with in the most beautiful beach town in the world with, those that you shared a beer with…or 7, those you fell asleep on the train next to, those you tried the local food with, those you got lost again with, those you took a hop on hop off tour with, those you went to a rose garden with, those you went to a concert with, those you celebrated with, those who put a flower in your hair, those who encouraged you everyday, those who helped you see the good in others, those who helped you see the good in yourself, those who shotgunned a beer with you in Odda, Norway, those who shared a cup of coffee with you on a quiet morning, those who shared a smile with you, those who watched a sunset with you, those who stayed up with you all night, those who reminded you to open your heart again, those you cried with, those you crammed into a hotel room with, those who helped you find your polaroids the next morning, those you hugged a giant tooth with, those you ate with, those you got your tattoo by a man in a Gdansk, Poland who didn’t speak english with, those you never stopped laughing with, those you aren’t sure how you ever lived without, those you rode the metro the wrong way with, those you loved everyday, those who helped you find your way, those friends who became your family.

Ireland Memories

It is amazing how once you have traveled, the smallest things can jog your memory and take you back to a place you once were.

Today, a rainy day in San Diego, I pulled a big comfy sweater from the back of my closet. The second I put it on, all I could think about was Ireland (where it was purchased). Suddenly I was right back to the Cliffs of Moher. One of my favorite days in the world. Mid July in Ireland. Cold as hell. Driving up the windy roads with my father. I look back on this memory fondly because of the personal time with my father/best friend/mentor. My father had flown in for the week to visit me. On this particular day my father had rented a car, as you may or may not know they drive on the other side of the road there, it was an adventure to say the least.  Curving up the windy roads, passing sheep and gazing at the green rolling hills. This memory is one I will never forget.

So far away from everything and everyone. Everyone says that the Cliffs of Moher are a must see. They are correct. If you are in Ireland, take the drive, bus, train, anything to see its perfection. By the time we reached the top, all we could see were clouds. Some would be disappointed. I wasn’t. Travel is all about the company you share it with. I was just happy to be with my favorite person in the world, in a beautiful place so far away from stress. So far from reality. Responsibilities were so distant. It was almost as if we were one with nature. Exploring around the area we hiked and laughed.

Just as we were about to leave. It was as if the clouds parted just for us. I will never forget the majesty of the cliffs. What an an amazing view. Unlike any beauty I had ever seen.

There are some times in life where you know everything is going to be okay. That there is so much beauty in this world. That there is so much yet to see. This was one of those moments.

So grateful to have this day to look back and smile on.

Why Travel?

When you travel you learn who you are to an extent. Truly I don’t believe we can ever know exactly who we are because change is the law of life, but travel helps you understand yourself. Thrown into a new city with people you barely know? Some would see that as a nightmare (I would have 7 years ago), now I would see it as an opportunity. I would give anything to experience every second of my travels all over again.

Travel expands your mind to see, feel and experience things you never imagined. I will say it now and I will say it 100 times, travel shows you that ultimately people are good. From the elderly Finnish woman giving me euros so I could take a bus home to a Spanish street dweller making his way to La Sagrada Familia for Sunday worship. No matter where in the world I have traveled, I have connected with others from all walks of life.

The power of good is all around us.