#DoYouIndie Travel Challenge: priorities…

“never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life…” -unknown

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D A Y 7-9…got lost in the shuffle of an epic weekend back at my alma mater celebrating college friends and football, seeing old roommates that now have an adorable little human roommate and driving 6 hours in several different weather conditions to get to my boys in Montana for much needed, dad, bro, nephew time.  WORTH IT.

THAT being my reasoning for skipping the writing for the past 3 days, i’ve decided to sort of “catch up” by not really catching up, but explaining a concept that i learned in life, but executed and accepted fully in my travels.  no disrespect to the BootsNAll Indie Travel Challenge at all, just sharing my experience.

one of the most incredible lessons the traveler learns is the concept of making a life vs. making a living.  i love writing, the pen hitting paper, my fingertips hitting the keys…but sometimes, you just have to challenge yourself to leave the screen behind for a weekend and LIVE.  i connected with old friends, made some new friends and reconnected with one of many pieces of myself…tapped into one of the life chapters that helped shape me into the writer and the woman i have become.  so with that said, remember that when you make commitments to yourself, to others, to the universe…it’s always okay to make your own rules, adjust your sails and to establish a method to your beautiful madness.  without further ado…my attempt at “catching up” with this writing challenge…

CHALLENGE: write your top 10 values for life and/or travel and create your own manifesto!

it’s not a list, but you can read my travel manifesto here.

QUESTION: where did you want to go on your RTW trip? what destinations will you have to skip and why? if you’ve already done a trip would you have changed anything?

although i haven’t taken one yet, i can say that living and traveling around australia for a year can FEEL like a RTW trip of sorts.  it’s a MASSIVE country, continent, island and there is SO much culture to see, feel, taste, learn and explore.  i would love to do a real RTW trip someday and although i know i won’t hit every continent or every country…i will go to the places that i feel the most pulled.  i truly believe that one of the most important things to remember as a traveler is that it’s not about going because you feel like you want to define yourself and your life a certain way.  it’s about feeling like you want to live in your truth.  travel is not for everybody.  and we all get to define it and learn it for ourselves…for some, they won’t ever go past visiting family in their home country, for others, it’s a long weekend in Vegas or a spring break in Hawaii, some people fly to Europe every year with wheels on their luggage…others choose a backpack.  there is no right or wrong in travel…there is only your truth.

lately, i’ve been feeling pulled to the third world.  i’ve been to various parts of Mexico a few times and i’ve experienced culture there and not only sunned myself at a 5 star resort.  i want to live in a treehouse in Nicaragua, i want to work on a farm in Guatemala, i want to learn to surf in Costa Rica.  i also dream of adventures in SE Asia, exploring jungles and beaches, caves and wide open rice paddies…i want to see, feel and taste it all.  Europe will come for me…someday.  i am a history buff for certain and cannot wait to take in the richness of the ancient ruins and museums, art and architecture, standing in places where great world leaders and influencers have stood…i dream of taking a European tour of everywhere Audrey Hepburn has been for filming and also a world tour of where she stood as a UN Ambassador fighting for children and people in poverty.  i want to live in an orphanage in India and volunteer with children, learn and teach music at a school in Africa.  the beauty about an RTW trip is that there are limitations…but only the ones you place on yourself.

QUESTION: how can you practice travel caution without becoming paranoid?

caution is an important part of travel.  i mentioned that a bit here and also touched on it a bit here.  i’ll state it again, we all get to define travel for ourselves…and as humans, we all know it’s really easy to judge others.  i urge you to try not to.  for example, at age 18 on my first trip to Mexico, i witnessed a very stereotypical scenario that made me feel un-proud to be an American.  it happens.  no matter what country and culture we’re from, stereotypes exist and it’s just a fact of life.  the beauty you can create as a traveler from one country, exploring someone else’s is that you can break them down…prove people wrong.  exuding caution is critical because you want to be on your A game keeping safety in mind while also enjoying your experience to the fullest.  paranoia is something that comes easy to some and is easily avoided by others.  often, paranoia can come across as judgement, basing a person or an experience on a stereotype.  no one gets anywhere successful in life relying on preconceived notions…it closes you off from the rawness of an experience…poisons the well before you’ve even had a chance to find the water.

ALWAYS and i mean ALWAYS, keep an open mind and an open heart when traveling.  trust those gut instincts and follow what you feel, but try your damndest not to judge or come across paranoid in a situation.  if you feel uncomfortable, calmly and rationally find your exit and strategize your way out.  travel enables you to be your own leader…execute your inner power of self…you have to be in touch with your boundaries and your safety points to know how to act in a situation that challenges them.  converse with local people…it goes a long way.  ask questions and don’t ever feel stupid for it.  try speaking the language and using the basics like “please” and “thank you”.  all of these small acts can go a long ways towards helping you avoid situations where you’re paranoid.

to avoid terrifying my family and {some} of my friends with a story that occurred while i was traveling in AU, i’ll leave details out, but there was a dodgy situation that could have ended pretty badly.  i strongly feel that if i hadn’t kept calm, but also observant and cautious, it would have gone the other way.  we all trust other humans differently.  know yourself.  know your limits. know your truth.  that’s the only way you’ll know how to conquer a situation abroad like a boss.

share how you choose to make a life over making a living in the comments below!

how #DoYouIndie ?  join the challenge here.

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2 thoughts on “#DoYouIndie Travel Challenge: priorities…

  1. Making a life is so much more important that writing a daily answer for the Indie Travel Challenge! It sounds like you had a blast. We have yet to go to Montana but it’s on our list.

    We love your value about making a life over making a living. Making a life that you are proud of keeps you alive. So go live and come back and write about it for us. We love reading your answers.

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