Travel Adventures

Why Travel? Here’s 7 Reasons

“Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I’m not sure who first said that, but to that I say YES AND AMEN.

I remember the exact moment in life I decided I would see the world. It was 1991 and I was 9. My parents decided to take us to Walt Disney World Florida (and also exciting Edgard, Louisiana). I may have shared bits of this story before, so forgive me for any repeats.

We all went to Epcot Center on one of the days and after “visiting” the first country, I was 900% hooked. You see, Epcot Center has several international pavilions and each had people from those countries working there. My parents bought me a passport and I got to go around to each place, look at the architecture, see the cute trinkets and talk to people from around the world.

I was deeply and madly in love.

I think it was after 2-3 stops my parents realized there was no stopping my mission to visit every country. So we split up, my Mom took my siblings and cousin on rides and my Dad took me to each country. Rides? What rides Dad?! I gotta see the world!

I still have it!

So began my lifelong love of traveling both near and far (I talked about the lovely Ireland here). Here’s the thing with the travel bug; once you start you will never want to stop and I think that’s amazing.

On a recent trip to Colorado (I 100% blame recent travels for neglect of this blog, but hey, it provided some new inspiration!) I was thinking about why I love traveling and thought it was the perfect time to convince the Internet to travel as much as possible!

This post is unsponsored, but if an airline company sees it and likes it, feel free to pass along a free flight or two. I shall graciously expect :).

1. The world is no longer a face without a name. I think one of the reasons I have such a passion for social justice and change is because I’ve been to many of these places and have seen the beautiful faces behind all of the stats. It’s amazing how much our perceptions and thoughts change towards fellow man when we have to opportunity to spend time with them. I’m not saying you have to spend days, sometimes it is just a few passing moments.

2. It is fun! I can go on for days about this one. I don’t have a study to quote, but I’m pretty sure there is a scientific evidence out there proving that you burn more calories due to laughing and adventuring. Whether with family or friends, fun is waiting. Right now I’m laughing while typing this thinking of hilarious times.

Visiting a school is Zambia – loved these kids!

3. You get to challenge yourself and stretch yourself. This might sound crazy, but not everyone lives like we do in the United States of America. Wha??? I know right? Who would have thought…

4. The food. I admit, I don’t eat anything and everything. Vanilla is and always will be my favorite ice cream. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try things at least once (I draw the line at bugs internet). There is some amazing food out there in the world just waiting to be eaten. Now I’m thinking of all the foods I’m craving that are far, far away from me. Curses.

San Fran with my sister and close friends = we all still crave the crepes.

5. Culture changes you as a person (and for the better). Trust me on this.

6. Cheeseball alert…the memories!! A significant majority of my favorite all times memories have been while I am traveling – whether a short road trip or somewhere international, the memories truly do last forever. Like I said, cheeseball to the core. ; )

When your friend turns 30, you go on a trip!

7. Beauty. One thing that reminds me of God’s creativity and majesty is traveling. Whether a beach, the mountains or people’s compassion and kindness, seeing the world has always drawn me closer to Jesus in ways I’ll never forget.

It’s probably because I’m itching to plan my next trip, but I hope y’all are inspired to pack up a car full of friends or maybe hop on a plane and go somewhere fun. If you aren’t sure where to start, I hear Austin has some cool people and pretty amazing food.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Why do you love to travel? Where would you love to go if money wasn’t an issue?

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Ponderings

Why it’s Better to Admit the Nerdy Things in Life

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of a nerd. And not just because I read a lot (although, increasing your knowledge isn’t nerdy people…it’s brilliant :). It’s because lots of the things I like and do are well, a bit nerdy. I admit I wasn’t always secure enough to freely admit this, but good thing you grow up and become much more wiser right?

Here’s the thing: in the age of the Internet there’s lots of people who portray a persona of someone they’re not. Trying to look “cool” for a world of strangers. It’s bad enough for our kids to fear being who they really are, but if they look to adults for guidance, they sometimes don’t see a difference. I vote no to that.

You do the world a disservice ignoring this because you’re uniquely you. No one else is. We’re wired certain ways for an amazing and incredible purpose only we can fulfill. That’s why I’ve learned to embrace exactly the way I was made.

So this month’s post is where I gladly admit things about me I know are totally nerdy/quirky/only I do, but still me!

1. I memorized the Gettysburg Address for chuckles because it’s one of my favorite American speeches. It’s so beautiful and profound (if you ask me to recite it in person, I might get stage fright and mess it up though). I also have it hanging on my wall.

2. I may have watched Denzel Washington’s Academy Award acceptance speeches on Youtube recently. And teared up.

3. I only eat Vanilla ice cream. It’s not that I don’t like the other ones. I just don’t mess with the best. Hate away ;).

4. I watch Disney classic cartoons on a regular basis. And still cry. I mean have you seen the part when Mufasa dies?? Good golly, I’m a bawlin mess every time.

5. I have ordered the same exact thing at Del Taco my entire life. I kinda wish I was joking, but alas, I am not. It’s the original #3: Bean and cheese burrito with red sauce, fries and a root beer. If I feel like “mixing” things up, I’ll get a Cherry Coke.

6. I buy costumes for my cat. This past Halloween he was a dinosaur. As you can tell from this picture, he was thrilled.

7. Speaking of my cat, I considered creating his own Instagram account. This still might happen people.

8. If someone offered a class to learn elvish, I’d be all over that in 2.8 seconds flat.

9. I recently needed to write a bio for myself and this is what happened: “She wishes she could go to Hogwarts, live in Narnia and hopes one day Gandalf will show up at her door and invite her on an adventure. She also could never part with Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Giver by Lois Lowry or Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.” P.S. If you’re wondering what it’s for, check out this awesome new board I’m on here!

Well Internet, there’s a few to kick things off. Hope you enjoyed them! Now, it’s your turn! Please join in and share what makes you – you! I’d love to hear it!

Changing the World

Why We Should Change The World

After reading the title of this post did anyone else bust out in dance to Captain E.O.’s “We are here to change the world….gonna change the world!” No? That’s odd.

While it is a worthy topic, MJ’s jams aren’t the topic of discussion today. I’ll save that for another time. As you might have noticed (or not at all 😉 ), this “Why” series is full of posts I do once a month that discuss whatever my heart desires. Sometimes it’s related to books, but most of the time you find things like tv, sports and other such shenanigans. Today it’s about changing the world. Daunting no?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the rather annoying “YOLO” term (if I ever use it, please know it’s in a sarcastic/let’s make fun of this and it usually involves friends and I deciding to eat ridiculous amounts of candy), but I do have to admit, it’s true. You do only live once. So let’s make it count (If you ask me, speeding in fast cars or making as much money as possible isn’t making it count).

Instead I can’t express enough how much more life matters and comes alive when you invest and give to others.

One of the places and organizations I’ve recently partnered with is Reach Out and Read. It’s awesome. Each week I head over to a medical clinic and read to kids in the waiting room. They also get books too. While this might not seem like a big deal, statistics show it is. Having a book of their own, reading more can drastically affect how well they do in school. As they mention on their website: These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.

I love doing this. It’s fun and when the kids want me to keep reading more, my heart melts a little.

The program in central Austin is starting to gain momentum and it’s a blessing to be a part of! Sometimes there’s a ton of kids, sometimes just one. And don’t worry if you’re not the outgoing-let’s-get-this-party-started type, I promise if I can do it, so can you. I have yet to master the use of the puppet (y’all I.have.tried), but puppets creep me out (which I’m sure can probably be traced back to a creepy 80s film I stubbled upon).

To my fellow introverts, don’t you worry, most of the time when the kids see me, my first thought is “please like me! please come be my friend!” You know, just like any other 31 year old woman. I promise I survived my youth years with no major mishaps.

But internet! Once books start to be read, it’s a whole new world. It’s worth pushing myself beyond my comfort zone every single time! You want to talk about Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed? Got that one down like a lyrical gangsta. Clifford, Dr. Seuss and Llama Llama are my b/f/fs for life.

Seeing kids run to the bookshelf, anxiously picking out their next book, then coming back makes me wish my lunch hour was all day long.

I want to change the world. I have this crazy idea I’m working on of a fundraising Read-a-thon. I don’t know what it will look like, but why let that stop me right? :). And even if reading isn’t your thing, I bet there’s something out there waiting for you to join and change a person’s life.

So what about you? I’d love to hear what you think and if there’s something awesome you’re connected to!

If you’re wondering who the hey Captain E.O. is (a.k.a Disney’s greatest invention ever) please see below and you’re welcome!