“Authentic travel is never in the must sees, always in the mundane.” – Samantha Brown
To travel- it’s a verb with a heavy definition. What exactly does it mean “to travel?” Well, it means something different to everyone, so here is my definition.
Growing up, I remember watching Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown and her shows, Great Hotels and Passport to Europe. For each episode, I kept thinking “Samantha has the best job in the world and I would love to have it.” As I watched the shows, I quickly realized I have a passion for traveling and was inspired by Brown to see the world.
The reason why I travel is simple-to see the world and gain experiences. There is so much learning to be had outside of your comfort zone. My travel philosophy is to travel as much as possible, while learning about the history of an area and the people who live there. It also includes being adventurous and making memories. This philosophy plays into my five step travel list.
For every trip I take, I must:
- Take tons of pictures. I always come home with about 1,000+ photos.
- Meet and talk with the locals. You’ll get the best information about where to eat, what to do, and learn more about the area from a person who lives there.
- Research the location’s history and plan out my must-sees. However, I am careful to not plan too much and allow time for adventures.
- Get lost—on purpose. Take a back road, walk down a different street, just get out and explore.
- Go back to that same destination. It might not be the next year, or the year after that, but sometime in my life, I will make the time to go back.
If you want to get out of your comfort zone and see the world, you must travel. It doesn’t have to be a three week excursion. It can be a day trip to a nearby city or even a stay-cation in your own town. Just travel!
Trust me-adventure is out there. You just have to make up your mind and go!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
If you are like me, you are wondering how on earth will you find the right present for a woman who deserves the world. To honor my mother on this special day, I’m taking a look back at a previous post, written just for her.
For today’s “To Inspire and Motivate,” here is my letter “Dear Mom.”
Recently, I have seen a lot of “Dear So and So” letters floating around the Internet. So, I decided to write one to my biggest supporter and hero, my mother. Below are the top five things she has taught me that I wanted to pass along in my “Dear Mom” letter (trust me, there are tons I have learned from her, but I’ll just share a few for now ).
What can I say? Thank you for being my biggest supporter and always being there for me. Thank you for teaching me that:
1. Everyone deserves love and respect–no matter what. End of story, no more explanation needed.
2. Over celebrate a person’s birthday. Everyone deserves a special day, where the attention is on them.
3. It’s okay to be organized. Sometimes we need to have things colorized, alphabetized, sorted by size, etc.
4. Family comes before everything else. This is the group of people who will love and support you during the good and bad times. Family doesn’t have to be blood-related, they just have to be there for you and you need to be there for them.
5. It’s okay to break down and fall apart, as long as you get yourself back up. My mom never stops trying. She tackles everything life throws at her with class, charm, and gumption.
“Conversations with my mother, father, my grandparents, as I’ve grown up have obviously driven me towards wanting to try and make a difference as much as possible.” -Prince Harry
There is another member of the royal family that inspires and motivates me- the favorite red-headed prince. Prince Harry follows in his mother’s, Princess Diana, footsteps in giving back to others.
The young prince is known for working with numerous charities, making people smile, and helping military veterans throughout the world. After attending the Warrior Games in the USA in 2013, the Prince of Wales saw the impact sports could help wounded warriors, who sacrificed for their countries. Shortly after, he founded the Invictus Games for wounded, ill, and injured active duty and military veterans, both men and women throughout the world. In 2014, London hosted the inaugural games. The next Invictus Games will be next week, May 8-12, in Orlando, Florida.
Prince Harry is an inspiration of mine, because I believe all military members, active duty or veterans, are important and should be respected, honored, and commemorated for the sacrifices they made. The motto of the Invictus Games is “I Am.” To everyone, this catchphrase means different things. I Am. I Am. I Am. For me, it means: I am able to do anything, no matter what challenges come my way. My definition was inspired what the Invictus Games stand for and the values Prince Harry believes in.
I am motivated by Prince Harry to continue supporting and doing everything I can for the military throughout the world. It takes a brave person to put their life on the line for their country. Taking a look back at my previous post, Operation: Remembering Veterans, remembering veterans and active duty soldiers is more than writing down their stories, it’s giving them the respect, honor, and support they deserve, each and every day.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” -Princess Diana
Following the adventures of Great Britain’s royal family is somewhat a hobby of mine. How can you not love Prince Harry and the adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte? One of my biggest inspirations comes from this family- the late Princess Diana. I don’t like to refer to the Princess of Wales as “the late,” because for many people, myself included, her legacy still lives on.
Princess Diana devoted her time to her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and her charity work. Her legacy of compassion and helping others, no matter who they were, still rings throughout the world. When there was a need, the People’s Princess was always there.
For me, I will always remember the Princess through her acts of kindness and her willingness. I was young when she died and don’t really remember much of her life before her death. But, when a person’s legacy lives one long after they are gone, that is when you know they made a huge impact on the world.
Princess Diana has and will always inspire and motivate me to be kinder, more compassionate, and always lend a helping hand to others in need.
Singer Elton John perfectly summed up Lady Diana’s actions in his song “Candle in the Wind.”
“You were the grace that placed itself, where lives were torn apart. You called out to our country and you whispered to those in pain…And your footsteps will always fall here, along England’s greenest hills. Your candle’s burned out long before, your legend ever will.”