Travel Dreams and Inspiration.

I spend much of my life day-dreaming, and each time it’s about where I want to visit next. One day it’s Bhutan, the next it’s Morocco. Another day it’s Peru, and then it’s Ghana. The list is always growing and sources of inspiration are constantly surrounding me. I imagine my life as a permanent traveler, and never see an end to my adventures, as I believe that it is a part of who I am – something that I know will never change.

The original inspiration: magazine cutouts.

The original inspiration: magazine cutouts.

Several years ago, in the beginning of my love affair with the world, I would cut out pictures of countries, stuffing them into my journal. This journal was less a chronicle of my life, and more a place filled with lists of the countries I planned to one day visit. As I learned about new places, I would add them, knowing that one day I would visit the countries I once wrote down. And, as I visited each place on my list, I would check them off with excitement, realizing that I was beginning to reach my dreams and see the world.

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North Island Adventures.

One of the greatest adventures I have had in my lifetime occurred while traveling on the North Island of New Zealand almost three years ago. My cousin, Michelle, who is from Ireland, was spending her summer vacation traveling between Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, and I decided to join her on the last leg of her trip. It would be an experience that would bind us together as sisters from day one.

Self-portrait with Huka Falls.

Self-portrait with Huka Falls.

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Blame it on Mom.

I blame it all on my Mother; my love of travel, desire to wander, and need for escape from everyday life. Right from the start she made me believe that all dreams were attainable if one worked hard enough, and she helped me fall head-over-heels in love with the world.

Enjoying the ocean.

Enjoying the ocean.

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Transformation.

All experiences that we have as humans affect the outcome of who we become. The more we experience, the more transformed we are over the course of our lifetime. Because travel involves opportunities that take us out of our comfort zone, the more we travel, the more chances we have to transform ourselves during our time here on earth.

Pondering life in Aruba.

Pondering life in Aruba.

For me, travel has been the basis of all of my changes. When I wasn’t able to travel, I made changes in my life that allowed me to begin traveling and with each trip I take that transformation continues. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the exact moment I changed, but with each trip I take, I see a significant difference in the person I am each time I return home.

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Escape to Eastern Europe.

During my family’s European adventure in 2006, we visited countries in both Western and Eastern Europe: Ireland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. But, it was the Eastern Europe countries, Croatia and Slovenia, that left me feeling transported to somewhere completely new and unique.

With family in Croatia.

With family in Croatia.

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Carefree in Croatia.

Europe is a continent that I spent much time exploring during my early travel days. My first big trip out of the country was to Ireland; then I spent several of my college breaks visiting friends abroad. I took each opportunity to visit as many countries as I could. But, the one place I always dreamt of visiting was Croatia.

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Indie in Italia.

Italy is a country that means more to me than many others. Like Ireland and Croatia, Italy is part of who I am. My father’s mother, Evelyn, was born in Avellino in 1920, and later moved to the States with her family when she was twelve years old, so Italian culture has always been alive and well in our family.

But, it wasn’t until 2005, the Spring Semester of my sophomore year in college, that I took my first trip to Italy. My dear friend, Sara, was studying abroad in Rome for the semester, and extended the invitation for me to head over to visit her. I jumped at the opportunity to visit my friend and explore the city of Rome.

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Worth Any Cost or Sacrifice.

“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” Elizabeth Gilbert

If travel is your first love, as it is mine, you’ll understand exactly what Gilbert means. It is worth any cost or sacrifice because travel brings much more to life than anything else ever could. For me, this is the absolute truth. Travel enhances life, gives us a feeling of being alive, and allows us to experience life in a more concentrated way. Each experience I have had while traveling has made me a better and stronger person, which is why most of my money tends to go to travel.

Off to Vegas!


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Discovering Fiji.

For me, the image of a beach immediately conjures up feelings of instant relaxation. This is what distinguishes island travel from anything else: the time to slow down and just enjoy life. There’s time to watch sunsets, spend days under the sun, explore without agenda, drink cocktails at the beach bar, or lounge under an umbrella near the ocean. All without a care in the world.

Fiji.

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Traveling the Globe…Indie Style.

“To me, being an indie traveler means many things, but most importantly it means that you are willing to put yourself out there to explore the world. It means taking every chance, every opportunity to just get out there, no matter what obstacles are in the way.”

That’s how I defined indie travel back in early January when BootsnAll asked those participating in the Indie Travel Challenge for a definition. To me, being an indie traveler is all about stopping the excuses and getting out there to explore this amazing world we live in and the people in it.

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