As 2018 comes to a close, I’ve found myself reflecting a lot, not just on the past year, but over the entire course of my life.  Where am I?  Where do I want to be?  Am I ok with person I am becoming?  And, am I living my life in accordance with my own values and morals.  During this reflection, I’ve realized a majority of the most pivotal points in my life all revolve around travel.  My highest highs, my lowest lows, my most scared and most inspired moments have always happened outside of the few cities in which I live a majority of my life.

Travel is one of the most meaningful experiences in the world.  The ability to take a step outside of your normal routine, and see a situation with new knowledge, provides us with a certain clarity that is otherwise unattainable.  It provides us with the ability to see a new place, learn about new ways of life, and thus gain an even greater appreciation for those who are different than ourselves.  One of my favorite things is learning about other travelers: where was their favorite trip, what gave them the travel bug, how can they afford to travel all over the world, what’s their best advice?

Many people see traveling as being a daunting process.  Between figuring out how to put away enough money, to understanding how to book flights and hotels in the most efficient way, to planning a trip and even navigating an airport, it all can seem very overwhelming.  I think it’s the main reason people don’t travel more.

As a college graduate, I strongly believe in the importance of an academic education.  There are certain things you can only learn from a book.  At the same time, as an avid traveler, I strongly believe in the importance of a “hard knocks” education, which you can only attain by getting your head out of the books and actually living.  One of the most beautiful things in my own life has been seeing the lessons I learned in my schoolbooks come to life throughout my travels.

I have decided to start a series called, “Who’s Behind That Carry-On” in an attempt to show that travel is for everyone, and all you really need to experience the beauty of exploration, is the will to get started.  Each girl featured in this series is a strong believer in the transformative power of travel, and they each have unique backgrounds and ways of making their travel bucket lists come to fruition.  I hope their stories act as inspiration for you the same way they did for me.  Stay tuned as we leap into the New Year and get  to know a new travel fanatic each week.  Happy Holidays and may 2019 be your best year yet!

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*If you know someone, or you yourself would like to be featured, please email me at behindthecarryon@gmail.com

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

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