My family has never been serious travelers. The only time we would set foot outside the city was to see family at a gathering in Kansas City or celebrate a holiday in Arkansas. So my earliest memories of traveling included long rides in the car and cold fried chicken (Because for some reason cold fried chicken was a must in the black family travel handbook).

It wasn’t until I moved to Las Vegas that my eyes were opened to the amazing possibilities of life. I was never exposed to lights these bright before. So much fun and creativity all around me. The most fun I had ever experienced was a walk down Bourbon street in New Orleans but never anything as fast-paced as Las Vegas. I quickly learned my way around though. I felt the energy.

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Since my move, I’ve bulldozed through my state neighbor, California and have planned to take a few solo trips to different places like Portland, Seattle and even Mexico. Traveling opened my eyes to all the possibilities in life and expanded my mind BIG time. If you need a new perspective or just a breath of fresh air from your surroundings, here are the lessons I learned from traveling:

Traveling Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

According to research done by Skift, only 13% of people in the work force can afford to use their vacation days to travel. In other words, many people don’t even take off work because they feel like they can’t afford a vacation. When you are overworked you become tired and uninspired. There is no way you can give your best if you don’t feel your best. Cures to this can include:

  • Staycations: If you can’t afford to go outside the city then plan a fun staycation instead. You can save travel costs but still plan a getaway weekend to clear your head and have some fun.
  • Airbnb: This has been my saving grace. It allows you to rent out a room or entire apartment for however many days you desire. Airbnb’s run so much cheaper than hotels and are great for a solo travelers or even a group of friends. Just don’t tell your old school parents because it might give them a heart attack.
  • Map Out Your Trip: If you are on a strict budget then make a list of the places you want to go. Check out affordable restaurants and attractions on Yelp and then stick to the plan. This eliminates the unforeseen spending trap that I often fall into 97.445% of the time (Don’t judge me, I’m working on it).

Traveling Takes You Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s so easy to get used to your environment, life schedule and way of doing things. Traveling forces you to experience new cultures and ways of life. In March, I decided to push myself and take a solo trip to LA. It forced me to be with myself and not depend on others to entertain me or make me happy. It forced me to try new food, make new decisions and be more aware of my surroundings. I truly learned more about myself and enjoyed quieting my busy world.

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Traveling Awakens Your Spirit

I feel so alive when I travel. It rejuvenates me and helps me get back in tune with what I enjoy and really want out of life. It helps me to learn about my world and challenges me to find new ways to serve my world. Traveling creates the space for me to dream big and trust my instinct. If you ever feel uninspired, emerge yourself into something new and it will show you what you are capable of experiencing.

Traveling allows me to dream big and trust my instinct. Click To Tweet

I used to feel guilty about wanting to travel because I was so worried about money. I felt like using money to travel was irresponsible. But I discovered that allowing yourself to sit in a box, doing the same routine is actually the irresponsible thing to do. We are in the best stage to do this because most of us don’t have huge responsibilities yet. Even if you and your bestie are crammed in an old woman’s room in Miami and eating $1 tacos, just go live. And live abundantly. Try new things and enjoy who you are. Glow up that travel life.

Alaina Nicole