It’s About That Time…

…where people start to think about the next year ahead. New Year’s Resolutions are made, fought for and then often forgotten about. It’s the time of year where you can take another look at your bucket list and make plans to cross off a few things. It’s also a time where you can really stop and think about where you are in your life. The photo below asks us a question that can be intimidating, but life changing.

life questions

Are you really happy or just really comfortable? Is your 9-5 desk job really enriching your life, or are you just there because it pays the bills? Do you really not enjoy that activity that used to make you smile, or have you just forgotten the feeling that went along with it? Are the people in your life really contributing to it or do you find yourself in a crowd and still feel lonely? Are you happy to be in one place, with only a week vacation as your opportunity to travel, or are you longing to be on the move and explore several places over a longer period of time? Are you forcing that smile or that laugh when really, you just don’t give a fuck about whatever that person is talking to you about?

This is the perfect time to look at all of the big areas of your life — work, travel, friends, location, family, education, health — and figure out what’s missing and what’s going well. If you, like my brother, insist that your life is perfect the way it is right now, then good on you and I hope that you continue to do the things you love and that your life continues to be beautiful in 2014!

But, for some of us, there might be one area of your life where you wish there was just something… more. Whether in your professional life, academia, personal life, etc. Since this is a travel blog, you might be a traveler already or maybe you’ve never left the comforts of your home. Whether you take yearly trips or have simply been dreaming of taking the plunge and moving across the country, or backpacking through a new continent, this is your chance to expand on what you already do and to set your thoughts in motion. Leaving your family, friends, and the comforts of your hometown can be scary. You might cry on the plane for two hours (like I did). You might get lost or you might hate the new place you’ve ended up. But you might laugh, you might make new friendships, have great adventures and make memories that you’ll never forget. It might change your entire life, for the better. And if not, you can always come back to the comforts of home.

For myself, this year is all about being as happy and healthy as I can be. I want to be around people that make me smile, finish up my school year with a decent GPA, get to the ocean at least once, and go somewhere I’ve never been before. I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for all of you and that you take the moment to re-evaluate what you want and what you have, and take the risk to make the changes so that you too can have a beautiful, happy year.

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Travel Inspiration: Torn.

torn

I’m loving this quote lately. It is such a good description of the feelings associated with wanderlust, or the urge to travel continuously, and it describes me perfectly. For me, the beauty and the connections that I have in my hometown and home province have never been quite enough. While there are times where I want to settle down and create my own roots, there is always this other part – a stronger part – that reminds me just how much of this world I have yet to see.

Travel Inspiration: Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves

Wanderlust

Elisabeth Eaves takes her readers on a ride through her personal accounts of travel, love and growth. What begins as a trip overseas with her high school classmates transforms into an insatiable urge to see the world, get lost in new places and make connections with new people. As she makes her way  from one city to the next, we learn about her highs and lows, her thoughts and ambitions, and feel connected as she takes us through the string of men who capture her heart. She struggles to realize who she truly is as she can feel herself changing ever so slightly with every new person she meets and every new city that she visits. Below are two beautiful quotes that I pulled from the book:


“There are lives—so many—that I hadn’t experimented with. What if I was meant to be
an aid worker, a dive instructor, a spy? What if I was meant to be a writer in New York?
And forget even what I was meant to be. What would it feel like to just wander the world,
free of all responsibility, knowing I could stand on my own two feet?

***

“We carried bottled water and day packs and cameras, except for Fred,
who said he didn’t believe in taking photographs; he planned to store
his memories in his head, an idea I found incomprehensibly radical.
My impulse to record was almost on par with my impulse to travel”

I’ve read this book at least four times already and each time it makes me yearn for farther places and makes me wonder what I really want to be doing with my life. If you haven’t, I suggest picking it up! It makes for a great summer read or a great book to read while on your own adventure around the world.

Travel Inspiration: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but there is something about this poem by Robert Frost that makes me want to pack my bags and travel, preferably off the beaten path. It also makes me hope that in years to come when I am looking back on my life, I have no regrets and am proud of the decisions I’ve made.

Found this on Tumblr, if anyone knows who created it please let me know so I can put the appropriate credit!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Do you have a poem that makes you want to travel or reminds you of a specific
time abroad? Would you like to see it featured on one of Whirlwind Travel’s Travel
Inspiration posts? Head on over to the “Contribute” page to find out how.

Travel Inspiration: The Beach

This movie helped to make Maya Beach in Thailand a famous tourist destination. The Beach began as a novel and was adapted into a movie starring my personal favorite, Leonardo DiCaprio. It follows the life of a young man named Richard whose adventure begins in the busy city of Bangkok. After being left a map to a secret paradise, Richard recruits two travelers to accompany him in his quest for this hidden beach. The Beach is a movie that I always end up watching when I start missing Thailand and is a movie that nearly every traveler has heard about.

It shows the absolute joy of a new adventure, the rush that a traveler gets when discovering something new and that feeling of importance that you’re doing something different than everybody else. This movie also, in the end, reminds us that the glamour of something that is beautiful fades after it becomes normal. And so we keep on traveling. But seriously, this movie really makes me want to go off and live on an island for a little while. Minus all the craziness involved in the community on The Beach.