Wednesday, March 30, 2016

That Travel Bug Feeling

If you love traveling, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
That feeling when you've been in one place for a little too long, when home starts to feel claustrophobic, even with family and friends surrounding you.

Yeah, that feeling.

That sinking feeling of needing to get out of here before you go crazy. When you haven't been anywhere for a couple of months and it starts eating away at you (not literally).

That travel bug (also not literal) keeps you awake at night, sometimes. It makes you realize that being home, even though it is such a blessing when you are there, can feel like a trap.
Just getting away, even for a couple of days can feel like a breath of fresh air.
It's not only about the destination even, the journey itself is more than freeing, but when you get there, that's it.
You are free.

Being somewhere new strengthens you, it empowers you, it drives you to be alert and ready.
It prepares you for the every day, for the world. Travel is more than just going from place to place, it is the reason for all the variations of life out there. Travel makes learning possible, from culture to culture.

I have never felt better than when I get off a flight and realize I'm somewhere new.
Sometimes, the feeling is incredibly hard to explain or even understand, but it's there and I know it to be true.

Wanderlust describes it well in the fact that it's a longing for places you have never been or want to go. That is me on the daily.
If you're anything like me, you have to keep your mind busy when you're home or else you start to second guess everything you're doing.
That's why I plan. I am constantly seeking options for what could be. My Pinterest pages are filled with travel related stories and tips, my Airbnb account has over 20 wishlists, and I'm in constant envy of all the photos from Instagram I see.

So planning is where I'm at. Constantly. Looking up how much flights might cost, seeing how lodging may play a factor in overall expense, and what kind of activities I could do once I'm wherever.
This travel bug is not going away and the only way to relax it, is to go.
Time is precious and I cannot wait to get out there and see the world, but it'll take time. I am not the proud owner of a lucrative travel blog, nor am I rich and/or famous and can pay for said trips at the drop of a hat. I have to work, to earn my way around, but I'll get there.

If you feel that feeling like I do, you know, there will never be anything that can stop me from wanting more than where I'm at now. There is no cure.

So, is it time to go yet?

Cheers and safe travels everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Essentials for Flights - The Basics

Flying is an essential part to travel, for the most part of course. Flying is the best way to traverse long distances in shorter periods of time, so you don't waste time soaking up the sun or playing in the snow, whatever you choose.

Due to the fact that flying seems to be a necessity to travel, it seems only fitting to have a short list of important items to carry along with you on these journeys. In my experience, which is not a lot, I've learned that there are things that can definitely be left at home. All in all though, there are some things, especially on long flights, that you cannot go without.

Here are some of my essentials for longer distanced travel, because being in the air for even just a few hours can be grueling.

1. Snacks. Snacks on a a low budget flight are scarce, so bringing your own can be the difference between going crazy and having something to munch on to take that not-being-able-to-sleep edge off.
(I am not a good plane sleeper)
My go to snacks come down to easily attainable, nothing messy, and small enough packages. Usually almonds, maybe trail mix, granola bars, or packages of applesauce. I love chocolate and it would probably keep me more sane than anything, but it melts too easily and I don't want my backpack to be smeared for my trip with something that might not look like chocolate...

2. Gum. Now, I'm not a gum chewing by any means, I never have any in my purse or in my car, but when I travel, it's one thing I have stowed in my backpack for those plane flights, mostly because my ears tend to pop like crazy and I can only yawn so much at a given moment. Gum is the next best thing, plus you look nice if you offer a piece to the people sitting next to you who have to suffer the popping as well.

3. Neck pillow. Now I don't currently own one, but one of my friends would swear by this. She has a nice plush pillow that also deflates and easily stows away in your bag (Similar here). She slept soundly on all of our plane/bus rides to and through Europe. Literally, she always had this thing with her and she was always getting rest, easily. My dad also always took them on trips with him and he was always glad he did, maybe if I had one of my own, I could actually sleep on flights. Sleep is essential in long travels, because it's the make or break between being slightly on the sluggish exhausted side when you get to your destination.

4. Book. Generally I like to bring at least one book with me, sometimes a reading book and a puzzle book to challenge me a little if I get bored. I love sudoku and tend to bring a small booklet in my backpack. Books I generally bring are something I'm currently reading or something small that seemed interesting and I found at the bookstore, nothing too big in size, have to prioritize that space. One book I took with me on my first trip to Europe was Wild Roses by Deb Caletti. It ended up being a good read through Italy.

5. Water. I know that usually airlines, even the cheap ones, offer you some kind of complimentary beverage, but I like to fill up my water bottle before I get on the plane. Plus, having a reusable bottle can be super efficient when you get to where you're going. Just don't forget to dump it out before going through security, because they may make you throw out the whole bottle, or chug all the water in it...
I don't have a specific bottle I use, usually I just grab a vitamin water at the store before I go and refill a few times before I end up getting a new one somewhere else. Again, I probably need to buy a more durable, travel friendly one, but hey, I tend to slack on getting some of the essentials I need. At least there are other options!

I'm sure there are some other things that people have for things that are entirely important to bring with them during long trips, but for me, I stick to the basics. Yes, I might bring some extra shoes, my tech stuff, and some makeup in my backpack as well, but thats' usually because I don't want to overfill my regular carryon bag. These five things, I think are the most essential.

Do you have something else that helps you during long flights?

Cheers and safe travels!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Top Jobs for the Travel Life - My version

Traveling is my passion, whether I am on an adventure at the moment or not. Most of the time, it tends to be not, because of the work-life flow I have created for myself, at a stable, location dependent job.

I would love to pack my bags and be off, independent, working but not tied down to one place.
If you're like me, you've gone through the reality of this process in your head and how it just won't quite work yet.
I may only be 24, but I'm young and I want to get the hell out of here. Not that I don't love the PNW, but I just want to explore, adventure is out there.


So I have 8 to 5 job, for now, compensating me for working on the regular, giving me benefits that are helpful.

If I had the life I wanted and could afford to drop everything to do right now, here are the top careers or job choices I would go with:

1. Travel writer/blogger.
Now let's start here, because we all know, if you're reading this, is that this is the dream. The fantasy of my life in which I could grasp tighter and tighter till it would never let me go. But sadly, I know for a fact I am not a great writer and my blog tends to bring in a whopping 20 views a week... maybe.
This is the dream job I wish I could have, but have no idea how to attain with my lack of skill, knowledge and basic lack of travel I have going on right now. It's top on my list and hopefully I'll get there. Slowly but surely.

2. Consistent globetrotting house sitter.
Again, dream job. I've looked into a couple of sites like MindMyHouse and Trusted House Sitters both of which seem great and worthwhile. I've heard some horror stories about people house sitting abroad, but have also heard the reverse of it. I think it's mostly about finding the right fit and making sure communication beforehand goes well with the people you're helping out. It seems like these sites make take time for you to get noticed, but it's probably worth it.
Staying at a country villa in Tuscany, sipping on some wine, watching the dogs and cats would be lovely, especially when you have the house all to yourself, right?

3. Teaching English Abroad
This has been a top contender for awhile and I have come close to going for it a couple times now, but timing just has been against me and my bank account has been crying to accumulate more funds before I leave.
I would love to teach English, I am not an accredited teacher though. I speak English fluently, but that will really only get me so far. Companies like English First or sister sites from there will help you get TEFL certified and then situate you in a spot of the country you choose. You get paid, are on contract and you get to teach. Downside is you have to pay to rent a place usually and you have to be somewhere maybe longer term than what you're hoping for. I wouldn't mind it though, it's definitely on my radar.

4. Online data entry/administrative assistant
I am already an administrative assistant, I just happen to have to sit at a desk all day and type into a computer from that location (although it probably could be remote from where ever I please) that's just how it works. My job is somewhat easy, stress levels are moderate although high at certain times of the year. If I could work and travel, it would be perfect, but alas, my current situation has not permitted it.
There are sites like Freelancer and such that you can do sign up to work for whatever skill set you have. I haven't quite gotten into that competition game yet, because that's basically what it is and my competition level is low when it comes to work. It's a good option if that's what you're looking for though and could be a great source of money.

5. Vet assistant
I have worked with animals for the past few years and been around them all my life. My other real big dream job would be to travel and assist in a non-profit for animals, shelters, rescues, refuges, etc. Sadly, a lot of the places I've looked only take volunteers or only hire people who are residents of the country the organization is in. I am always constantly searching though and if I find anything remotely awesome in this area of work, I will post it here.

All in all, there are a lot of other options besides these. If you love history or are great at retaining info about specific places, you could be a tour guide or a real estate agent. Flight attendants get to travel a lot, while being off the ground a lot as well, but could be a cool option.
The world is waiting for you and for me. While my life may not be ready to let me go from what I'm doing currently, I'm always looking for the out that will take me away.

If you have suggestions, options, comments or ideas, post them! I would love to hear from you!

Cheers and safe travels!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Work and Travel - Vacation Time

If traveling were free, we would all be doing it, wouldn't we?
Just goes to show how much planning and money go into just one short trip. While being spontaneous can be a major upside when traveling, being analytical and OCD about budget and welfare can take you back a couple steps.

Through my real work-life journey, I've realized one thing: Travel for me, takes time and money I don't have until I do.
I work a regular 8 to 5 shift at my office job, where I spend my time waiting for the next chance to plan a big trip or a couple small ones for the year based on my vacation time I'm accrued.

This is not the ultimate means for how I want it to be. Honestly, I wish I could just drop everything and head to Morocco or New Zealand to take some time away, but sadly, my world and the worlds of so many others, doesn't work like that.

I don't make a living based on the writing I do, nor do I have an opportunity to get a job that is remote or location independent any time soon. Therefore, I have to work, 8-5, to get that money and accrue that time.


It does give you something to look forward to planning every year, but hell, that's not how I want my life to be.
I want to be traipsing around the world, with a nice backpack full of my stuff and ready to go to the next destination on my well thought out map.
Travel, being it a passion of mine, has to take a back seat to the real life struggle of being in my 20's and not having any money. Being in debt for the community college AA degree I got 4 years ago and having to pay bills just adds on to the stress of life.


None of this means I never stop planning. I constantly have a list of possible itineraries on the back burner. Lists of Airbnb rentals to look at and faun over, looking at flights to get budget ideas, and constant additions to my bucket list that I hope I will get to fulfill someday.

Each step I take in the mundane life I have at the moment, is set to bring me closer to the dreams I have before me, the ones I'm constantly aware of in the back of my mind, pulling me towards them with their ever present vision.


Adventure is something I strive to be apart of in whatever way I can. So short day trips here and there will suffice for now and not break the bank for the bigger trip around the world I'm gearing up for in my life.
It'll happen. I'm not entirely worried. I would just rather it be sooner than later is all!


Cheers and safe travels everyone! Hope to see you out there one day :)