“It’s good that you’re traveling so much. Enjoy it while you can!” This is one of my favorite and least favorite things to hear from someone. It’s great because at least they’re being nice and not criticizing our love of traveling! :) But it also makes me sad because it makes me scared of this day that’s supposedly approaching when we won’t be able to travel anymore. When does this happen and why is it our fate? I don’t know. If someone could give me an answer, I could stop being anxious about “the day” when our lives will get boring and we’ll no longer be able to pack up and fly across the world for a vacation together. I used to think this happened after high school. I could no longer miss a week of school whenever I wanted and then just catch up when I got back. I couldn’t go on month-long summer vacations because I’d have an internship in college before eventually getting a real job in the real world. So naturally, graduating high school was a little depressing for me! I thought my travel days were over. But ohhh my were they just beginning.
In college, in the midst of having internships, full-time 16 credit class schedules, part-time jobs, AND running a business, I traveled to more places than I can recall. I just tried to start a list and realized I don’t have time this morning to be doing that. Haha. But, some highlights include New York City, Disney World/Florida, Myrtle Beach (twice), Outer Banks/Emerald Isle (six times), Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, California, Las Vegas, Haiti (twice), Jamaica, Mexico (twice), Germany, Austria, Italy, Iceland, The UK… all during a time that I thought traveling would be over. But you see, I’m an opportunist. A surveyor of schedules and vacation days and what measly amount I have to spend in my budget at the time and a master of pooling my resources to make epic trips happen. Granted, I’m living at home. Running a business costs a lot of money, but I do have the luxury of not having to pay rent right now. But I’m 100% sure that even when I DO have regular bills to pay, I’ll still be traveling! Traveling is the spice of life and I am SO passionate about it that I can’t imagine it ever ceasing to be a big part of my life!
People judge us and say that we are frivolous with our money and waste it on traveling on exotic vacations. But you know what I think? I think investing in experiences is never a waste. Justin and I made sure that we agreed on this before committing to marrying each other. I’d rather have 6 days in London than a nice car, J Crew outfits, or a huge fancy home. If I have $350 to spend and a free weekend, I’ll hop in the car and use that money for gas to go visit family and friends in the country or at the beach before I walk into the mall and spend it on clothes or my hair or whatever else. Yes, we travel a lot… but we *RARELY* spend money on other things. We don’t eat out much, we live simply, and on average I spend less than $500 on clothes/shoes/accessories etc. PER YEAR. (I know. I should have my girl card revoked.) But what we choose to spend our money on instead are experiences and memories and time spent with loved ones we would otherwise never see. I wouldn’t trade spending Christmas Eve in a 500-year-old church in Sonnefeld, Germany sitting next to my Grandma Inge for anything in the world!!! We saved/planned for that trip for YEARS and what people don’t see are the things we didn’t buy to be able to go! The saving of 75% of every dollar I got and the going eight months without a real haircut or a new pair of shoes. My point is… when you love something, you find a way to make it work. Whether that’s your love of photography… your passion for traveling… or your head over heels, once in a lifetime kind of love for somebody that you want to marry. You. Make. It. Work. And if someday the time comes for Justin to be limited to two weeks of vacation a year, well you can bet those vacations will be the best vacations we’ve ever been on and every holiday weekend will be eligible for a nearby three day getaway. I will live in a one bedroom apartment for the next 5 years if it means I get to do what I love with the person I love more than anything in the world. So here’s to traveling. Here’s to believing that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And here’s to investing in experiences over material possessions. I believe in the magic of getting on a plane and escaping every day life for the sake of making everything else worthwhile. All the late nights, hours spent in traffic, and stressful days at work. We need a reason for it all other than paying the bills! Work hard, play hard… and go plan your next vacation!!!
P.S. In case you were wondering why our London pics never hit the blog… well, they will this week! YAYY! I can’t wait!!! London was my favorite part of Europe and I’m SO EXCITED to relive those memories through the blog this week! :)