Why I'm Thankful for Travel
The holiday season here in the United States evokes images of turkeys, pies, family gatherings and crazy shopping deals. But, it also provides a time to think about what we are blessed with. Since this is the first Thanksgiving after launching my blog, I wanted to take a moment to thank travel for a few things.
First, let me say that I’m most grateful for the opportunity and ability to travel at all. Not everyone lives in circumstances that allow them to do so freely, and I appreciate how lucky I am to get out and explore the world.
Thanks for exposing me to other cultures
When I was a young child, I lived abroad in Venezuela and attended a Guyanese church with my British mother and American father. From early on I started to appreciate, learn from, blend with and love on people from whatever culture and in whatever language. Traveling to other countries, or sometimes just away from our home bubble, grows empathy and an understanding that my way is not always the only way or the best way. I’m grateful to continue gaining cultural awareness by traveling to new places and witnessing how other people live and what shapes their worldview.
Thanks for my business
Travel is a huge part of both aspects of the business I’m building – my blog and freelance writing. I’m so grateful to be able to spend my days visiting, researching and sharing incredible places all over the planet. Because of the symbiotic relationship between my biz and travel, I’ve also learned more about the world through my job and now dominate those Jeopardy geography categories. Because of travel, I am able to work from wherever and spend more time with my family.
Thanks for all the connections I’ve made
I’ve (virtually) met so many great people in the travel community. In Facebook groups, I’ve connected with girl bosses all over the globe and learned invaluable information on how to set up and grow my blog. On Instagram, I’ve found hubs of other small business owners and travel lovers that support and uplift each other. Wanderlust is a common bond that connects us, no matter where we are in the world.
Thanks for the opportunities to face my fears
I get nervous flying, but I’ve boarded dozens of planes. I’m scared of heights, but I’ve climbed up waterfalls in Iceland. I get anxious talking to strangers, but I’ve traveled solo. Spending time in a new environment surrounded by different people forces me out of my comfort zone in the best of ways. Whether it’s figuring out how to communicate in a foreign language, navigating a complicated subway system, or dining alone in a restaurant for the first time, I have no choice but to adapt and go with the flow on the road. Travel makes me brave.
Thanks for the priceless memories
From long car rides through lava fields listening to Icelandic news on the radio, to the time I almost got punched by a pushy bracelet vendor in Milan, I’ve gathered endless stories and created so many memories on the road. Since I normally travel with my husband, we also get to share a special bond and inside jokes based on our experiences abroad.
Thanks for teaching me flexibility
I’m a big planner and tend to get easily overwhelmed when I don’t know what to do in a situation, but travel pushes those boundaries. Things don’t always go as planned. Flights get delayed, cars break down, bags get lost and you have to deal with it on the fly. While I can’t say I’ve eradicated these anxieties, I get better at living in the moment and winging it with each progressive trip. On our first big international vacation a few years ago, I had everything planned down to the second with walking maps printed out, all of the embassies and hospitals noted, etc etc etc. On our latest trip abroad, I let my husband plan the majority and I only butted in to try to take control a couple of times. Progress!
Thanks for showing me the value of experiences
When you fall in love with travel, your perspective on monetary goods starts to change. Now, when I see something I want to buy for $80, I automatically weigh that against a round-trip flight somewhere on a budget airline or a night at a hotel. When I want a new outfit, I consider how I’ve lived out of a carry-on for two weeks and reevaluate the mess of clothes sitting in my closet. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but travel has sparked an awareness that I can thrive with far fewer things (like these 21 items I don’t spend money on to buy more travel).
Thanks for helping me love home
Nothing feels better than returning from a long trip to sleep in your own bed. No matter how fancy-schmancy a resort I may stay at or how breathtaking a panorama, there’s a certain comfort that only home can provide, and being away helps me to appreciate that in ways I never could if I didn’t leave a few times a year. Of course, that feeling only lasts a short time, so thanks, travel, for always being there to scratch my wanderlust itch again!