Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The expression on her face. The thought process behind her uncomfortable smile as her eyes grew wider, Alone?

There was so much taboo around being a female solo traveler. As I recited to her that I would be taking a trip alone, I felt her tone change drastically. The longer the conversation, the easier it was to hear the mix of confusion, admiration, shock, horror and....well, pity. It is easy to judge when you are standing on the opposite end of the spectrum. The side where you are co-dependent on another human being for what should be, your natural happiness.

For a couple of months now, I had been standing at the edge. I'd been researching my heart out, as curiosity and knowledge overwhelmed me. I had been so reluctant to take the plunge but with good reason, as it was a scary leap of faith. One that would enrich me with insurmountable amount of fun experiences and new sights. When you want something this bad, you can either find an excuse or find a way. I had been bitten by the travel bug and in desperate need to travel. I asked myself, which was more pathetic; The constant disappointment of waiting for a travel companion and watching as my nomadic dream life dissolved? or continually wondering what else is out there?. It was the perfect timing. Contrary to those my age, I did not have a husband or kids. What I did have was, this crazy ambition and fascination with traveling. Why not now? The fear of regret trumped the fear of the unknown once again.

I didn't think myself as very different from this friend but our conversation left me to feel as though we weren't cut from the same cloth. Physically, we resided in the same borough yet mentally we were worlds apart. It was almost as if she didn't understand the concept that there was another way of living rather then conformity (she obviously hadn't read my last post). There was a whole community of people who thought like me, a community of solo travelers. The kind that hadn't limited themselves to the social norm. They too, were also marriage, husband and babies free!-The fact that I was trying it out, made me feel bold, daring and...well, pretty BADASS!!

As I thought about our conversation, a sense of relief, freedom and liberation overcame me and I pulled out my debit card. It takes determination and courage to step into where the magic happens and you do what you love. I was there again. I was at my favorite place, the online airline checkout. The confirmation email verified my happiness once again and the count down began.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thirst For Life

Working a second over 40 hours a week can make a person crave a drink. And although that can alliviate the stress and give you a happy hour or two, nothing works better than a vacation. Where you choose to go can be determined by many factors. We all have taken simple vacations. Some like road trips to neighboring states, others like escaping to the Caribbean to feel the warm sun. But ask yourself this, when was the last time you took a vacation that changed your life? You know the kind that enriches your senses and feeds your soul. The kind that changed your view on who you are and how you viewed the world.

I'm thinking along the lines of "Eat, Pray, Love". I believe that you don't have to be going through a hardship in life to take such a trip. A simple thirst for life or lack thereof would do it. You know the feeling, sitting at your desk at work with a cup of coffee early morning, staring at a 14 inch computer monitor screen, squinting your eyes, a million thoughts scrambled in your head while you read through emails from your boss requesting you to go above and beyond your title. After this form of slavery, you go home and only have about 4 hours to engage in a social life, have dinner or drinks before its time to go to sleep. Somewhere during those hours, you have to call the gas company to dispute yet another estimated bill, the dishes are still in the sink, you have to plan your best friend's surprise birthday party, pick up your suit from the cleaners for tomorrow's big presentation, and your mom has left you 3 voicemail all stating that she feels neglected by you. If there were only 4 of you to do it all. Its the hardest reality, yet you do it every day. Day in and day out.

Why is it that we are constantly rushing, sprinting, racing through life. Have you ever stopped to think of this lifestyle in which you are merely existing like an empty shell in the sea. That's not really living.

You need more. What makes this type of vacation enriching? It has to be one that pushes you far beyond your comfort zone and brings you back to life. One that gives your life purpose. The kind that enables you the perfect balance of adventure and time to detoxify your mind, reflecting on life. And I know what you're doing right this second. You are thinking about whether you are living this empty life style I just described or whether you have ever had a life changing vacation. If like me, you crave such a vacation, a travel agent will not be able to coordinate this for you. As a matter of fact, studies show that the de-stressing part of a vacation is the anticipation and planning of the vacation. (This study might actually give me further insight in the euphoric feeling when I'm planning one for myself). You are going to have to do some research and planning of your own to find exactly what is right for you. Keep looking until you find something that really lights your fire.

While you're still young, get cultured. Don't  set yourself up for mid life regret. Do it now. You are younger now than you will ever be.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain