I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here! Here, you'll find inspirational stories of clients, my journey as a wife and first-time mother and other adventures I have that makes my world go 'round. So please, sit back, grab some coffee ( or my personal favorite, a good ol' fashioned Arnold Palmer!) and enjoy exploring my latest work! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!
Thanks to my mom and her amazing zest for life, I love to travel. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’m borderline obsessed with it. Staying in the same place for too long leaves me itching to go somewhere new. I can still remember hearing her tell my sisters and me at a very young age to get out and see the world and…well…since graduating college 7 years ago, I have lived in 5 different states spanning 3 time zones. And let’s not even discuss the amount of stamps in my passport. Needless to say…I’ve taken that mantra to heart and it has been one of the most rewarding ways to live.
There are SO many different reasons to travel, but in my opinion, here are the top 6:
1. Because it gets you out of your comfort zone.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are creatures of habit. We get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep and get up the next day to do it all over again. As a result of this mindless way of living, we begin to feel trapped, but we also don’t make any changes because we feel comfortable. We’re secure. But are we happy?
When you break down the phrase “getting out of your comfort zone,” it literally means doing things that you don’t feel comfortable doing. Getting outside of the box. Bursting our little bubble of comfort. Losing the familiar. When you travel, you open yourself up to unforgettable experiences. I can’t begin to tell you how exhilarating it was to climb more than 400 feet into the air to the top of the Sydney Bridge in Australia…to go trapeze flying in New York City or going night kayaking in Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico. Pushing yourself into unfamiliar places and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do opens your eyes to a world you never imagined. It reminds you that there is so much more to this world than your home. It transforms you. If life begins at the end of your comfort zone, then ask yourself…are you really living?
2. Because you meet amazing new people.
Traveling all over the place has introduced me to some amazing people. As a portrait photographer of women, I’ve met so many genuine, confident and fearless souls. And they have each taught me something valuable. Because I feel like I haven’t traveled enough, I find myself craving to meet new people, learning from them and telling their stories. It’s in those stories that I begin to realize just how connected we all are. Yes it’s true that no two countries are the same and not all people do the same things, but at the very core of who we are as human beings, we are all the same and all have unique lessons to teach.
All it takes is one person’s story to change your life. In the blink of an eye, you can meet someone who is something truly special and start a new friendship that inspires you to be better than you ever thought you could be.
3. Because it helps you to discover you.
The older I have become, the more I realize I actually know absolutely nothing about life. It seems that thinking you know everything is a horrible lie we all choose to believe when we’re young. However the sooner we burst that bubble, the better.
The more you travel and see new people, experience new cultures and learn about new lifestyles, the quicker you realize the world doesn’t revolve around you and that you are in fact NOT the big fish in the ocean, but rather just a tiny guppy. You’re able to see the beauty of the world and learn things about yourself you may have never known. Regardless of what season you are in, traveling teaches you something about you. It can invigorate your spirit and give you a new sense of purpose and reason for living. So if you’re feeling a little stuck on what your purpose is, what you want to do with your life, the career or educational path you want to pursue or just want to remind yourself of who you are…go travel. You might just surprise yourself.
4. Because it forces you to let go.
Raise your hand if you’re a control freak (**proceeds to raise both hands and one leg**). Almost everyone who has traveled has learned one important lesson: sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. Whether it’s your flight getting delayed or cancelled due to bad weather or you losing your luggage, the truth is…there is NOTHING you can do about it.
The sooner you learn to roll with whatever curveballs life throws your way, the sooner you’ll be able to shake it off, be carefree and enjoy your adventure. Learning how to be calm and not grow frustrated or upset something unexpected happens is probably one of the most valuable lessons you can learn that will not only apply to traveling, but to your entire life. The truth is, stuff happens. Stuff that you simply can’t control and it’s important to be able to let go. I mean honestly, what is the point in getting all worked up and stressing yourself out? When you travel, you quickly learn that there really aren’t a lot of things worth getting angry about.
5. Because you’ll learn to miss home.
I grew up in metro-Atlanta and never in a million years would I have thought that I would have traveled to places like Australia, New Zealand and Nova Scotia. But the more I travel and live in different places, the more I realize what home really means to me. Sure Atlanta is where I grew up, but home is so much more than the town, city, state or even country that I grew up in.
The more you get out there and explore the more you learn that home is where your heart is. You may discover a place in a new state or country and decide you want to live there part-time. You may just fall in love with a person who isn’t from where you’re from. Right now, my home is in Alaska and surprisingly, this Southern girl is LOVING it! There is so much to see, do and learn here and had I chosen to just stay in Georgia like some people wanted me to, I would have missed out on one magnificent adventure! Whether you visit a new place or move to a new place altogether, traveling is way of life filled with endless possibilities, but if you limit yourself to home and never dare to leave, who knows what you’ll be missing out on??
6. Because tomorrow is not promised.
Life…it’s short y’all. You literally can be here today and gone tomorrow. So many young people put off traveling until they’re older and bit more financially settled, but who says we’re guaranteed to live long enough to be old? It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that 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.”
To be alive is a blessing. It’s the most precious gift we can have. As I travel, I find myself more and more becoming overwhelmed with gratitude. I appreciate all the beautiful memories I’ve made and the people I’ve shared them with so much. When you really sit down and think about it…who are we to NOT enjoy this world God created and all it has to offer?!? Who are we to turn a blind eye to all the adventures that await us? As long as you have blood flowing through your body and are able to move it and shake it, you have no excuse to not move it and shake it all over the globe. Don’t live your life singing the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” song. Get out there and dance to the beat of the world’s drum so you can say “I’m glad I did.”
Traveling is an amazingly underrated investment in yourself and I truly believe something magical happens when we travel. It fundamentally shapes us. It inspires us. It brings us to life. If you’re afraid to travel, I encourage you not to be and even if you choose not to move all over God’s creation, not exploring it should never be an option.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there! Go. Do. SEE.
Next week, I’ll tell you why traveling to Alaska is basically necessary to your life. Seriously y’all…this place??? AMAZING! Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this post!