I am a firm believer that “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” (~St. Augustine). This can sometimes get people reeling!! I’ve had people tell me, “you are too busy (to travel)!” Others have said, “why can’t you be content?” These statements weren’t likely meant with malice, but did give me pause. I certainly have no interest in taking offense. Everyone has different opinions. I actually love it when people ask me questions, or are confused about my desire to travel. I have to chuckle when “contentment” is brought up. I am at a place of such peace and contentment with my life right now, and for me, a huge part of that, is because of travel. The truth is, I have chosen to not be complacent. And for me, that means expanding my ‘comfort zone’. Forcing myself to learn, grow, experience. I have chosen to read as much of the ‘Book of the World’ instead of just reading one page. Minnesota, Wisconsin, the whole mid-west IS truly beautiful! And there is so much more beauty and adventure to uncover – why would I want to just stop here?
I am at complete peace with the fact that others may not have this desire. Perhaps you choose to spend your finances differently. Perhaps you don’t like boats or airplanes. Perhaps your ‘Book of the World’ is viewed differently, and that is perfectly perfect. For me, and for my family, traveling has created some of the most amazing memories we have made. Aaron and I are able to unplug. We are able to experience things we would never get to experience here.
A natural sandbar where you can pet wild stingrays?
Red Rock Beach & Fira, Santorini, Greece
Myrtle Beach, SC
Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
For me, every. single. penny. I have spent traveling has been worth itself, ten-fold. The truth is, I didn’t travel much growing up, but when we did, it was truly amazing. For my family to spend an entire weekend together in Green Bay, or 2-3 weeks exploring Montana, are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. I have always been drawn to travel. In 6th grade, I babysat, at $3/hour, and on 40% of my income (my mom suggested I save 50% and give 10% to church), I bought myself my first plane ticket, and traveled on my first plane, alone, to Florida to visit my grandparents. The next year – the same thing – except my Mom and I both went to California. And following that, another solo-trip to Texas to visit my other grandparents. I set a goal. I wrote it down. I acted on it. I called travel agents before I even had $100 saved, so I could understand what I would need, what the flight times were like. I kept it alive – and the dream came true. I worked hard for it. I sacrified other things. CDs? Nope – never had more than 5 of them, ever, to my name. Movies? Same thing. Clothes – going into my freshman year of high school, I rotated the same 5 outfits. This isn’t about ‘having the money’, or having the ‘time’. It’s realizing that we all have, deep within, dreams, and goals. It’s our choice, what we decided to do with those. Some buy a fleet of snowmobiles, some build an amazing cabin, some start a non-profit, and some travel. We each have the desire to learn and know more. Whatever you choose to do, to see the “Book of the World” – Whether you travel on a plane, or through pictures and stories of others, books or magazines, I hope you soak up the rich culture, food, people and opportunities that this world is overflowing with and encourage others to do the same.