Category Archives: World Travel Smarts

Traveling is not all rainbows and puppy dogs, it takes preparation and knowledge. Then the fun is so much more stress free!

It’s Not “Luck.” Just Do it. Wander.

While on the train this morning, a twenty something girl came into my car. She recognized the other girl about the same age sitting

Byron Bay
“Lucky” in Australia

across from me and sat next to me instead. She squished her over sized bag and coat between my body and the car pole by the seats. She explained that she did not want to sit next to her “friend” because she felt that she was getting sick….gee…thanks….

I tried to point my face from then on in the other direction, which meant my ear was turned toward their entire conversation. They joked about work and friends and a silly new exercise class they wanted to take together (which obviously was never going to happen by the tones of their voices). Then they started to talk about a friend of one of them visiting from London. My interest perked up. She was living in New York, but from London. The girls then joked about being very touristy in Chicago in order to show their English friend around.  But, what really intrigued me, (and to be completely honest) actually pissed me off a little was when they were talking about how she just visited Portugal.

“Portugal sounds so interesting. It would be cool to go there,” says

White House
“Lucky” in Washington D.C.

Girl 1.
“Oh yeah. It would definitely be a place I would want to go to,” replies Girl 2.
“We should go there sometime.” Girl 1.
“Sure. Like Right now.” Girl 2.
“Oh yeah lets just get on the Blue Line straight to O’Hare (Airport)” Girl 1
“Ok. Next stop” Girl 2 .
Giggling for too long.

Why is this so annoying to me? I know their type. They are not going to go to Portugal. They’re not. I know they’re not. It is more fascinating to spend vacation money to go to an all-inclusive in Mexico to them. This is a very common American mentality and it just really boils me up. They laughed it off like the idea was completely absurd. It’s not absurd. Save and do it. Just do it. Go to

Hakuba Skiing
“Lucky” in Hakuba Japan

Portugal. Why does that seem so impossible? Life is just waiting to be lived outside of your hometown. So go. Enough giggling about something because it seems hard. You work and earn money and have the curiosity about a place. So Go! Do it. Enough joking about it.

I guess it really gets to me because people always look at me as if I am “lucky” to have gone to all the places I have been. I am not “lucky.” Please do not call me that. I just save, plan, and do it. Anyone can. I am tired of people of equal or higher wage look at me like I am crazy because I go places all the time. I am not crazy. I am curious. I have Wanderlust. Don’t judge. Just do it.

San Diego
“Lucky” in San Diego at the Ocean

Wandering and Travel Alone

To travel alone is a battle on it’s own. A fun battle, but a battle all the same. I love that I am able to meet whomever I want and hang out with them whenever. I love that I can sleep when I want, eat when I want, and go wherever I wish to go. It is, however, lonely sometimes.

Hyde Park
In Hyde Park

While in a museum or experiencing something spontaneous and fun I often wish to lean over and talk about it with someone else. A friend, a companion, a relative, whoever. I want to talk about what I am seeing and what I am experiencing. I think it is beneficial to travel through both journey’s.

It was the end of my Round the World trip. The thought of me leaving hung heavy within me. Everything I went to visit on my last day in my beloved London was tainted by the thought of leaving. Shakespeare Globe lost it’s magic, because I knew I would not be around long enough to attend a performance. The Tate museum was beautiful, but once it was closing I knew I would be forced out and not allowed back in until my next visit. I longed to get lost in my favorite city, but I knew living on the streets would not be the most logical decision for myself. I stayed out wandering around all the cobble-stoned streets that I

Byron Bay
Alone in Byron Bay, Australia

could, until the sun went down. I stumbled upon St. Paul and literally ran into the steps. The air was growing colder and people were leaving work. I had decided that this was the perfect opportunity to people watch and embrace being in London at that moment. There was a girl with a white hat sitting across the courtyard seeming to do the same thing. Older men with suitcases and hats briskly glided across the courtyard, children skipped around in their uniforms from school, and a crowd of young twenty something’s were out and ready to protest Libya’s war.

I took a deep breath. I could feel tears creeping up. I had to get a hold

People watching London, England
People watching London, England

of myself! There is nothing quite like visiting another city and just being present in that specific moment. Thinking about where you are, what you are looking at, and that you may not ever come back to this place again. It removes me from routine thinking and what strengthens my soul.

Wandering the London Streets
Wandering the London Streets

My Winter Playground in the Mountains

(I apologize. It has been a rough week the Universe has thrown at me recently and has prevented me from writing. On a happier note:  )

The winter air hugs my red cheeks and snow is gently falling all around. The sun is trying to shine but has been blocked with the pure white clouds full of snow in the sky. My body sways up in the

Happo One
Hakuba Ski, Japan

air…back and forth…back and forth…my left foot growing heavier than my right. I look across the world around me, as I feel that I am on top of it. The evergreen trees are decorated with white puffs and look almost jolly in the winter wonderland. I can faintly hear people laughing and yelling out to one another. The cold is not so bitter, and I want to feel it even more. I take off my glove and allow my free fingers to catch the big snowflakes out of the air. The cold air feels refreshing on my skin and there is hardly any wind.

I look around again and take a deep breath and relax. There is not much else you can do while riding a ski lift up a mountain. You are pretty much stuck in that spot for the entirety of the summit. As the end approaches a big ol’ butterfly starts to flutter around inside my torso. Just one…but one too many. I have never been known to be a

Happo One
Hakuba, Japan

coordinated person. The chair comes to a slower pace a we must hop off of it before we get stuck or it knocks us over. I plant my right foot on the middle of the board and start to slide down. I catch my balance and skid to a stop by the rest of the people.  Success.

The wind is whistling and all the people go shooting off down the mountain. Some at a faster speed than others. I strap myself in. This will be an interesting run. I start down and the snow feels smooth and soft under the board. I make it to just at the point where I cannot see the top anymore and fall on my face.  I get up and keep going. I am basically doing what boarders call “plowing” because I can go straight down with the snowboard or I lean on my back heels

Copper Mountain, Colorado
Rocky Mountains, Colorado

to stop and go down on the back that way. I fall three more times. On the third time, I stop to catch my breath and take  in the world around me. It is so peaceful. I listen to the snow gliding under the ski’s of people as they go past. The world has never seem so much more at peace and beautiful than in the white snow on top of a mountain.

74 days until Le Flaine!