This year was full of wild adventures. I spent a summer experiencing the best of NYC, traveled to Puerto Rico, made many bus trips and road trips along the East Coast, and just generally had a ball of a time exploring.
And I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve gathered from these expeditions and the act of preparing for them. So I thought a good way to celebrate these newfound understandings was to write a post on them!
1. There’s always a way to do it for cheaper.
Between websites that offer ridiculous flight deals and inexpensive ways to find a place to stay while traveling, I’m perpetually learning that there’s a less pricey way to explore. It requires sacrifices, but my favorite memories have been when I strayed off the beaten path for an adventure that was easier on my wallet, like the time we stayed at a haunted Airbnb that didn’t cost us much.
2. Travel memories stay with you when nothing else does.
I’ll never forget something the Holocaust survivors continuously told me when I was working with them as a social work intern. The survivors routinely held to memories of traveling when tough times struck and reminded me that this was what they clung to as they aged, their friends passed on, and they found themselves increasingly alone. Thoughts of times in other countries was what sustained them through the toughest moments of their lives and what brought smiles to their faces.
3. It’s important to balance the big stuff and the small stuff.
It’s impossible to travel all the time unless traveling is your job. But if you maintain a regular 9-5 position or you’re tied to your country of origin by family members or a desire to keep close to friends, and especially if money is tight, there’s no way to jet-set to another country or across the states. But because new experiences are what keep me going, I’ve learned to balance the “big” adventures with the “small” ones. Spontaneously going to a Kanye concert definitely isn’t traversing through the Spanish countryside, but it’s a new experience that fills me with joy and a zest for living. (Plus it’s cheaper than a flight abroad if you get tickets through StubHub the night of!)
4. There’s nothing more freeing than adventure.
The times I’ve felt most alive are the moments when I’m boarding a plane alone, or watching open fields roll by the window as I road trip upstate, or training for a half marathon or taking in the city skyline at a rooftop bar with friends. Adventure is what keeps me leaning in to the daily. And I’ll spend the rest of my life chasing those feelings.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned about adventure? I’d love to hear about it!
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