If You Can't Travel Far, Travel Nearby

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Sharing my experiences with you is what I love, and I hope you understand why.

I know I'm always on here ranting and raving about travel. I'm sure I do it so much that sometimes people find it annoying. Okay, okay... I could try and tone it down a tad, but the truth is I just love it, and I want to be able to share my experiences with the world because I feel so enlightened from them. I feel like we could all take a lesson in enlightenment by getting out and seeing the rest of the world.

However, it's become clear to me that not everyone is in my position that they can just up and leave. No matter how much I say 'just do it,' the reality of leaving work, family, and also having the money available isn't everyone's reality. I'm here to say I completely understand and I still want to encourage you to take a trip, even if it's only a twenty minute drive into the mountains or to a city an hour away. There is plenty to do and see in your own backyard, I have no doubt. I think it's important more than anything, regardless of how far or long you go for a vacation, that you're willing to absorb something different. You don't need a complete culture shock to appreciate the beauty of the world and it's people.

People often ask me how I'm able to travel as much as I do, here is my reality.

I don't know exactly how I ended up here, I'm 28, single, I don't have any kids, and honestly I make a decent living for my age. I knew college wasn't in the picture right after high school so cosmetology school seemed like a more fun, short term way to be successful. Turns out it was for me. After working in a lovely, upscale salon for six years, I decided to venture out and try running my own business. It was after returning from my first solo trip abroad that I knew it was not only something I could do, but something I had to do - at least try to do. Once you start pushing your boundaries that risk factor is something you begin to seek.

I live in a house that I share with my cousin and her fiancé so my rent is incredibly cheap. It helps that the cost of living in Colorado Springs is affordable, especially compared to big city living, and I tend to do alright with saving my money - at least now days, it wasn't always so. Saving money is a skill you will have to acquire if you really want to achieve your travel dreams - and most any dream for that matter. But once you learn to save and appreciate the discipline that later rewards you with adventuring, you'll find it's not so hard.

I also have a travel rewards credit card that I'll charge portions of my trip to. I don't often charge more than $2000 while traveling and as soon as I return home I get right to work on paying it down. In doing so my credit score has sky rocketed! I don't think credit cards are for everyone, but it's been a helpful tool for me to book everything with and to use while traveling since there are no international fees. Do your research on different travel rewards credit cards before choosing one, each offers different options that will appeal to different people. (It never hurts to have your whole trip backed by cash though, that way you can pay your card off completely upon returning.)

Like I said though, just do it.

Not only is vacation good fun, it's actually good for your well-being. I know it's easy to get caught up in the day to day that becomes our lives. Work becomes demanding and exhausting, children need to be fed and carted to their sporting events, and relationships can take an entirely different toll on us, certainly when you're already balancing all of the above. It's incredibly important we step outside of these parts of our lives, often what we consider our 'whole life,' and take time away to remember what really matters. Stress shouldn't rule our lives, but sadly for many of us it does. You have to release that energy and I truly believe even a small vacay into the mountains, to a nearby hot spring, or a weekend in a new city can help restore your mind and soul. You can pick your flavor when it comes to a vacation, but for your sake and everyone else's around you, just do it as soon as you can!

I fondly remember road trips with my parents to the California coast. I remember listening to my Dad's music, usually The Rolling Stones, while lying in the back seat as I day dreamed about what the ocean was going to look like in real life. I've learned that reality often exceeds the dream, but that whimsical image I had in my mind is something I'll never forget.

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I love that my parents took time from their busy, demanding lives to show me other areas of the U.S. I didn't realize then how hard they must've worked to be able to afford the time off, the bills that would still need to be paid, and of course the accommodations, but I certainly do now. I will forever thank them for igniting that travel fire that lives within me. I now know firsthand how much work it takes to save for a trip, and I'm truly grateful they shared those experiences with me as a wander-filled, young girl.

I'm sure your kids would love to do the same with you! If you don't have kids, I'm sure your spouse, partner, or fling for the moment would love to take a trip with you, too. And hey, if you're single like me, going all by yourself opens some pretty incredible doors as well, fearful as you may be, it's actually the best thing you could ever do with yourself.

The reality is you don't have to go far to experience something new. Venturing out near your home can offer as many adventures as traveling abroad if you look in the right places.

Travel brings people together you see. Even if you find out very quickly that the person you left with is a horrible travel partner, it'll drive you towards someone or something else that you may have not imagined possible. Take a chance on travel, even if it's in your own backyard. Cheers.

Upcoming Travel:// San Diego for NYE!