Lately I've noticed many of friends traveling.
And while a part of me is extremely jealous, the other part is happy to see them going out and exploring this beautiful world we live in.
"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer"
From my earliest memory, I could remember taking a yearly trip with my family. Even if it wasn't a distant destination, my parents always made it a point for us to see a new part of the world, every year without fail. A tradition that we haven't broken yet. Till this day, grown up and all, we still go on those unforgettable trips.
And no, we didn't grow up rich or have an excess amount of money. Which I think is the biggest misconception about traveling. If you sat down and did the math on what you spend your money on each month, you'd be surprised on how much you actually waste.
Money that could easily go towards a plane ticket to anywhere in the world.
Traveling might not be for everyone- which always astonishes me when I hear that from someone- but hey, there are people like that out there. But for me, traveling has completely enriched my life.
Especially back in 2011.
That year will forever be engraved in my heart.
In 2011, my sister and I embarked on a "Round The World trip."
Actually, more like:
I joined my sister on her Round The World trip.
I could never take any credit for it. I'm just blessed and lucky enough to have been able to join her on this life changing experience.
Because that's exactly what it was. Completely life changing!
How It All Started
Back in 2010, my sister decided that she was going to save up for a whole year, quit her job and travel the world. Simple plan, huh?
Well, in a way it was. From what I've learned and seen through my sister, there's really not much to this madness. It just requires you to take the plunge and actually do it. Obviously there is planning involved, but for the most part, and quite possibly the hardest part, it's all about following your heart and taking that leap of faith.
Which is what my sister Dani did.
I'm not going to lie, when she first mentioned about taking this trip, I thought she was completely crazy!
Well, my initial reaction was to ask her if she had won the lotto.
After her disappointing no response, I asked her once more if she was crazy.
(I might have added an F word somewhere in there.)
At a time where people were struggling to obtain and keep their jobs, my sister was going to go ahead and quit hers- just like that?
Yep, all signs led to crazy.
What was even crazier was my parents' reaction:
Go for it!!!!
Ok, not only did a have a crazy sister, but now I also had equally insane parents to add to the mix? I was starting to wonder if I was the crazy one for not seeing how this was a great idea.
I was hoping their lack of judgment would fade.
But it didn't.
And I can't tell you how happy I am for that.
The Most Asked Question
Hands down, it's the good ol' "funding" question.
In my case, I think everything aligned perfectly in order for me to take this trip. Like it was meant to be. It was certainly not as well thought out or time-consuming as Dani's plan.
But I'll elaborate more on that later.
For my sister, it was a year of changing herself and rearranging her lifestyle. Cutting back in every way possible. This meant, no eating out, buying unnecessary things, and saving every penny she possibly could. I have to say, it was motivating to watch her do so. For that, I have to applaud her. Maintaining that type commitment for a whole year is extremely difficult.
Being a witness to her dedication, made me realize that this trip was actually becoming a reality. It was also an eye opener to see how much a person could truly save when they put their mind to it.
Now back to my story.
It's not as compelling, to be honest.
I got laid off, had money saved up and newfound time on my hands.
Want to go around the world?
Sure, why not.
Let me remind you, that being part of this trip was never in my plans. I mean, who doesn't want to see the world? But the only thing I could think of was "How could I possibly join Dani on her trip??" I hadn't been planning for a whole year, I didn't have nearly as much money saved as her, but most importantly, I wasn't mentally ready to go on this crazy journey.
This was something my sister was preparing and planning for, for over a year- I had less than a month to do the same.
But this is when you don't question the opportunity the universe has given you.
You just take it!
It's funny how life works. When you have money, you don't have the time to travel. And when you have time to travel, you don't have the money.
Somehow, at that moment in my life, I had both.
At first I was upset from being let go. Even a little confused. But being laid off was by far the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
It gave me the chance to see the world.
With my best friend.
The biggest regret I have from this journey was not writing anything down. So many experiences and adventures that are now only kept in my lousy and forgetful memory. Luckily, I have pictures.
But it's not the same.
So, I'd like to officially welcome you to my new Round The World Journal.
Since I didn't blog back then or keep a diary, I'm going to recount my trip through this new series on my blog.
I want to have a place where I can look back and relive all those amazing moments again. It can also serve to give you inspiration and tips on places you've been wanting to visit.
I plan on sharing with you the stories and pictures from all the amazing destinations we went to. Recount all the incredible moments we experienced- and even the not so incredible and sometimes even scary moments.
The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of my Round The World Trip.
So get ready to follow me on the most memorable year of my life.