Who is Taylor Nicole and what is her travel story?
Name? Taylor Nicole
Homebase? I was born and raised in St. Augustine, Florida, but my home base for the past year has been Grenada, in the West Indies (Caribbean)!
Day job? Since moving back to the States, I am currently trying to find a “normal” job, working in the animal and veterinary industries!
Solo or group travel? For now, I would have to say more on the solo side, although I much prefer traveling with a friend! I’m not much into traveling with big groups, but like to have a familiar face with me!
Favorite airline? Hmm that’s a toss-up. I try to stick with JetBlue or Delta (or their partner airlines), since I have miles with them. I love their service and it’s nice having so many options with partner airlines!
How many countries have you visited? I have been to 14 countries, primarily in the Caribbean and Central America, but have also been to South Africa! I try not to weigh my travel on a number, but it is certainly interesting to hear it, and I can’t wait to see so many more places!
Favorite city and why? My favorite city…wow that’s a tough decision. I have always loved Charleston, South Carolina because of its charm and how much there is to offer there! New York City is up there too, there’s just so much going on! I really loved Cape Town, South Africa when I visited this July. It’s an amazing place and is somewhere I definitely want to return!
Top bucket list destination? It used to be South Africa, but after completing a trip of a lifetime there this summer, my next top is New Zealand. I’ve always been interested in seeing it in person and have heard amazing things about it. It’s also where I want to skydive for the first time. I’ve had dreams about it and I just know it’s where I’m going to do it!
Airbnb or hotel? That can be a tough decision. I do love staying at a nice resort when I can, but sometimes I feel like it takes the “local” experience out of a trip. I definitely tend to book AirBnb more often. My favorite one I’ve stayed in so far has got to be one that we stayed in while in Knysna, South Africa. It was the cutest little guest suite with a kitchenette, beautiful furnishings, two free bottles of wine, all the little amenities you could want (coffee pot, mini-shampoo, breakfast ingredients, etc) and was home to two other AirBnb rooms on the property! It was awesome, and the hosts went above and beyond any other AirBnb I’ve ever stayed in!
When and why did you first get the travel bug? Oh gosh, I don’t even know how old I was. I remember loving any trips that my family brought me on as a kid. They were always sure that we were doing something a couple times a year, even if it was just a couple hours from my hometown. As my brother and I got older, we were able to go on bigger trips, to the mountains, on cruises, longer trips, etc. so my love of travel just kept growing! In college, any chance I had to get away for a weekend, I would hop in my car and drive somewhere new! My love of travel has just continued to grow every single day, and even led to me living internationally in the Caribbean for a year!
Most memorable trip? If you’re counting a single trip, I would have to say either sailing from the Caribbean up to Rhode Island in the open ocean, over 1750 nautical miles, or South Africa. Both of these trips were once-in-a-lifetime experiences in my opinion. Living in Grenada and experiencing all that the island has to offer was also something I will never forget, but I’ll let you decide if you’d call that a trip.
Best travel advice for new travelers? I’ve got a few things I could say, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Don’t be afraid to push out of your comfort zone and try something new. Traveling is all about experiencing a new place, a new culture, new people, and new activities. If you stick within your comfort zone, you’ll never truly get to experience this new place and won’t have the memories you had hoped for. Pack in only a carry-on, if I can do it for a month in South Africa for winter, you can do it for a week-long trip. It saves you money, time, and let’s be honest, is a whole lot easier than lugging around a huge suitcase. Make friends with other travelers, locals, people you meet in the airport. You never know what kind of person you’re going to meet, and they can be a new friend for life!
What’s your secret to affording the ability to travel? To be honest, I don’t think there’s any true “secret.” I think it’s about what you prioritize in your life. To me, travel is way more important than buying a new wardrobe every season, getting my hair done every 6 weeks, getting my nails done, etc., you’d be surprised how much these costs add up! I shop for flights over a period of time to find the best deal or use my miles for flights if I can. I stay with friends, find work (if I can – visa requirements may put a hold on that) wherever I am traveling, and do activities that I either budget for, or find for little to no cost!
Do you have a travel blog we should check out? Yes! I blog over at Tea N’ Sea Travel (teansea.org) and have an Instagram over at @teanseatravel that you can follow for daily stories, posts, and more!
Upcoming travel plans? Nothing is set in stone yet, but I just returned from the Caribbean, made it over to Texas, NYC, and will always try and find a weekend trip. As far as bigger trips go, I’ve got some ideas planned for the coming year, but you’ll have to wait to see where I’m headed!
Anything else you want us to know? One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: “If you’re too afraid to jump, then you’ll never know what it feels like to fly.” To be completely honest, I have no clue who said that, but it’s so true. Another quote similar is “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Why am I mentioning these? This is my whole motivation and desire to travel. I feel like pushing out of your comfort zone is how we grow as a person and how we learn to appreciate the little things in life. If I had been too afraid to move away from home and everything I knew, I never would have experienced the wonderful island of Grenada for as long as I did. If I had been too afraid to jump off of Bloukrans Bridge attached to a bungee cord, I would have never felt that feeling of weightlessness and the wind in my hair (although, yes, it was still terrifying). If I was too afraid to uproot my life and sail thousands of miles this summer, I never would have experienced the pure bliss that is sitting under the stars, sailing on the open ocean with bioluminescence below me making the whole world look like a twinkling piece of magic. I encourage you all to do one thing every day that pushes your comfort zone, whether it’s saying hi to a person in line in front of you or taking the leap and booking a trip you’ve always been hesitant to book. It might just change your life!
*Did you like Taylor’s story? If so, be sure to leave us some feedback! If you know someone, or you yourself would like to be featured, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org