It took more than a decade of hopping flights, living on two foreign continents, and dedicating the better part of my twenties to trips abroad to realize that travel is one of the best tools for personal development.

If travel can be made a priority in your life — dedicating your time, money, and resources to it instead of making other choices — the rewards will be far greater than just the frequent flier miles you acquire or bar stories you can tell. Along with your well-worn passport pages, you’ll gain invaluable experience that will teach you profound lessons about the world and about yourself.

Every person takes away different perspectives from even the same trip. Each destination is ever-evolving, we each bring a unique set of life experiences to it, and no two days in a place are the same. So while we associate certain things with specific places — you may have a spiritual experience when visiting India, or a culinary one when visiting France, for example — we can really never know what to expect to receive from our travels. Still, after decades of trips it’s hard not to look back and see some consistent themes emerge.

The ways in which traveling enriches our character are immeasurable. It is my hope that these side effects, the growth that happens alongside the joys and challenges of traveling, give you one more reason to get going and hit the road.


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(With These Five Things)

Sometimes a week away from home is all you need to realize how much you appreciate home.

And in my case, even when staying in a beautiful, comfortable house and without leaving San Francisco, this is still true.

If you watch my Instagram Stories (shameless plug,) by now you know I spend a lot of time in my second SF home (and watching a certain puppy dog, who I’m so attached to I have started calling her mine — much to the confusion of my friends.) I spent a week and a half there recently, bathed in sunlight and basking in the glory of their view of the city and the bay. Still, there is no place like home (even when you’ve been in a house so beautiful that coming home seems like a bit of a life downgrade!)

Still, there is no place like home (even when you’ve been in a house so beautiful that coming home seems like a bit of a life downgrade!)

Why is that? What is it about our own space and our own things that is so significant to our well-being? As I sat in my space after some time away, I took the time to look around at the small things that add meaning and a sense of peace and belonging in my little apartment bedroom.

Here is a photo of mine:


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Where to Eat in Indianapolis.

(Because the way to the heart is the stomach, clearly.)

What it’s like to return to a place you once disdained, and discover that you quite like it after all.

Or, How I Finally Fell in Love with Indianapolis (and where to eat there so you will too.)

 

Two years ago, heck, even two months ago…if you had told me I’d be landing on the tarmac for a work trip to Indianapolis, I’d have laughed in your face and told you you were insane.

It’s nothing against Indiana. Some of the loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have their roots in the Midwestern state. It’s just that the job I used to have, the one before all this blogging business, took me there on a semi-regular basis. And when I left said corporate career, just over four years ago, I had zero desire to ever return to the place I most associated with that part of my life. Just like so much of turning away from that path, I was certain I was leaving it in the past.

So as I stared down at the plane ticket bound for IND, I could hardly believe life had taken me back there. Travel writing might just be the most opposite pursuit from pharmaceutical sales. How did pursuing a completely different career take me to the same exact place?


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Having just returned from two weeks (and lots of meetings) in the U.K. (posts forthcoming!) I’m more familiar than ever with the questions that follow when I mention the name of this blog.

The first response is usually, “that’s a fantastic brand!” or “how’d you get that URL?” followed by,

“What does part-time travel mean?”

It’s a great question and one that I presume everyone has a different answer to. Since I’ve been pondering this since before it was a term, I figured it was time I shared with you how the meaning has changed for me over time.


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You don’t have to carry all that baggage with you.

Ask any seasoned traveler for advice and it’s likely you’ll be told: “pack light!”

While I’ve never been particularly good at packing efficiently for trips, (though I’ve gotten better!) I realized the equivalent of packing light has been at the center of my life at home since the new year started.

For so many of us, the world seems a bit heavier than usual right now. Intentional breaks from the news and/or politics can help. Personally, the heaviness has prompted some reflection about where I spend my time and energy. I’ve begun a process of thoughtfully letting go of people, places, things, and any other clutter that no longer serves me.  In the midst of all this San Francisco rain, it has become a “spring cleaning” of life, if you will.

So often we don’t recognize the confines of our own schedules, commitments, and demands. We take on more than we can juggle and find ourselves out of balance and unintentionally ‘dropping the ball.’ (Ladies, this can be especially true when feeling the ‘you can have it all’ pressure.)

Yet things are different when we travel. Often it begins before the trip even does. When you only have so much room in a suitcase, you’re forced to say no; there’s a finite amount of space (especially if you fly budget airlines.) You have to examine the purpose, function, and worth of every thing you choose to bring.

What if we took this approach to our lives as a whole, where it’s so easy to pick up more and more without stopping to think about what may be weighing us down?


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