Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to challenge yourself, to stretch, and to grow as a person. And travel is one of the best ways to move yourself out of your comfort zone. Please don’t associate the word travel with a once in a lifetime trip, it is so much more than that. It’s about exploring and experiencing. And whether that is next door, a new neighborhood, a nearby town, or across the world, it’s all travel.
When I travel for work, I try to tack on an extra few hours or days to do some exploring. I love to get a sense of how people wherever I’m at really live. Where they go, what they do for fun, what they do for a living, what types of houses do they live in, and where are the known-only-to-locals gems. Nine out of 10 times, I’ll bypass the touristy destinations of a locale to explore the local gems.
It might have to do with my Hungarian ancestors but I’m what my grandparents would have called a bit of gypsy. I definitely have a gypsy soul (in the good sense of the word) and I am proudly a wanderlust. I also love to be at home too but that’s where you can usually find me plotting my next adventures and looking at real estate, which I’m always doing. It’s always on the planning agenda for any destination I visit. How much does it cost to live there? What are the cool neighborhoods? How do people live? Yep, real estate is my porn.
I love to travel alone – trust me, if you have not done this before, it will be life changing. I love to travel with my husband, my main travel companion. I love to travel with friends and have several groups that I do awesome girl trips with. I think I would like to travel with couples but as many are still in the kids in school stages, this one has not happened as much yet but I think if the couples and the locations are right, it could be a blast. And I love to travel with ,and to visit, family and friends. I love to stay in their houses and I love them to stay in my house.
I think staying with friends and family, versus a hotel, is a lost art in our modern world that needs to be revived. It’s not a money saving ploy, but it certainly could be and that would be fine; being a guest in someone’s home is really about immersing yourself in another place and spending time with the people there. Helping to make dinner, doing the laundry… I want people to say, remember when eccentric cousin Em came to visit and we had so much fun?!
I’ll end my love of travel ramble with a funny story that I’ll cherish always that reinforces my value of staying with friends. We have dear friends that live on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Most hurricane seasons they get evacuated at least once or twice, and their temporary home base is always our home. We don’t even have to be here, they know the garage code and their family and will come right on in.
So much so that last Fall, I was talking to my son who is in college in Florida and I mentioned that this couple was coming to visit and he said, oh, is there a hurricane coming?
Having frequent friends and family visit is not only good for me but it’s great for my children because they get to visitors on a different level than just at weddings and family reunions. And they also learn how to be hosts. And they hear all about other people’s adventures as I encourage their gypsy souls to fly free.