Why I travel.

Traveling to me is such an important and foundational practice for a life of substance. Each trip I take, whether national or International, teaches me something about culture, community, relationships and identity. Travel doesn't always have to be grandeur or expensive, and it doesn't always have to be challenging. Travel is exploring; seeing life through other people's eyes.

I travel because I love the discovery process it brings. Sometimes that means that T and I take a weekend and drive to the Oregon coast, exploring bookshops and coffee shops we've never been in to spend a Sunday morning doing something new. Sometimes it means that we plan a big trip to Europe to take trains across the countrysides and trek across France and Spain. Traveling is as much wandering and stumbling as it is planning and preparing. I travel because it always makes me think: about how I want to raise a family someday, how I want to live my life, what I want my purpose to be, what I don't want to do, who I don't want to be.

Travel pushes boundaries, both literally and figuratively. On this trip I ate foods I never eat, spoke in a language I never use, and participated in sports I would never have tried before. I was immersed in a new culture, in that I took on new practices and learned from traditions of the Costa Rican people, in order to teach me something both about geography and communal living in general. No matter where you visit, people are proud of where they're from, and often times very eager to teach and show you. A winemaker in France might take you through his vineyards and explain his delicate harvesting process to you if you express respect and interest. A matriarch in Italy may take you into her kitchen if you lavish sincere praise for her spaghetti bolognese. A farmer in Costa Rica may take you on his coffee plantation and let you sample the roast that has been in his family for many generations if you are teachable. These experiences are so easy to find, because people all around the world are so willing to share them with you.

 Travel should be a priority in how we spend our time. Travel doesn't have to be expensive: take a mini-road trip to a place you've never been before. Plan a vacation that you are diligently saving for, and put a time limit on it. (i.e., "In May of 2012, I'm going to visit Germany for 10 days. If it's going to cost $2500, I'm going to set aside $400 a month starting now for that trip.") Do it. No excuses.

Travel is enriching, mesmerizing, inspiring, exhilarating, (tiring!) and something you should experience on at least a yearly basis. This blog is dedicated to a living a life of travel (big and small), affordable ways to make your travel dreams real, and ideas for how to get your travel bug rolling. I can't wait to start planning our next trip! (Austria, Czech & Germany in the summer of 2012 by car!)

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