Week 7: Sometimes you just have to go somewhere…

Week 7: Inspiration for traveling

British Columbia

Alaska road trip, 2004

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

What inspires me to travel? Good question. I wasn’t sure how to present this prompt because what is that bug that makes me want to go? There are a couple different stories that tie in to what inspires me to travel. One part, I talk about my childhood and how my family traveled a lot so it was…natural. The second part in this post, I talk about adulthood and how sometimes you just need to get away.

I’ve traveled for as long as I remembered. If you go back even further, my parents have always traveled. My parents are Filipinos who emigrated from the Philipines to live in…you guessed it…the Middle East — Iraq to be exact in the 80s. Following a few years later, they moved to…you’re right again…to Germany! Following that they moved to the United States and I was born and we stayed here since.

The life my parents led before they settled in the United States, their travel bug was intrinsic because they were looking for wherever they could find work. All those countries they lived in, including the United States are all far different from each other across all levels from the geography, topography, language, culture, religion, way of life, architecture etc. I would like to think they passed this travel bug to me and I just did not know it for a long time.

World Famous Alaska Highway

Alaska road trip, 2004

Growing up we did some air travel, but we did a whole lot of road trips across America in the summer time. The car rides were long so I did my summer assignments in the car from English literature, chemistry, physics, . From child to teenager, I did not really appreciate them until I was older because to me I saw them as extremely long car rides. I’m sure your child’s angst and restlessness was also hard on my parents.

As an adult, in retrospect, I do appreciate those experiences more because I can share those stories everywhere I go.

In college, I wanted to do a study or volunteer abroad program but I never got round to doing it because I cold not afford it. That was a my biggest travel regret.

Alaska signs

Alaska road trip, 2004

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

After college, I started working full time. In my first year of working professionally, I did not take a single day of vacation. I felt I was in that rat race  paying my student loans, debt, and bills and worrying about having enough money to pay for rent. I also lived with roommates but it did not alleviate my financial situation.

In retrospect, forgoing paid time (PTO) off is silly because as part of my benefits, I get 2 weeks of paid time off each year and I chose not to use it. If you think about, for not using my PTO, I was letting myself work for free for 2 weeks each year. Like many Americans, I felt being a work martyr was easier.

Last year, my supervisor told me I accrued 230+ hours and I was about to reach my ceiling where I would stop accruing PTO. I had a choice to either take more PTO going forward or I can cash it out. Cashing it out was tempting, but those checks would be taxed and I would no longer have the much-needed days off. Between the two, I chose the former. Because I don’t want to stop earning hours, I take days off and that has been my kick since then. Each month I take one day off a month to take a “mental health day”. One day won’t give me a trip to Costa Rica, but I can drive across town and hike somewhere I haven’t been before.

Some months I’ll take multiple days off and I tell my husband “let’s go somewhere” — it doesn’t have to be far. It does not have to be fancy nor in the top of our bucket lists either. Because we are trying to save money to remodel the house, we choose a destination because it’s cheap or we found a really good deal. Tentative for Thanksgiving weekend, we are planning a trip to the Bay Area to visit friends. Tentative for the week of Christmas and New Years, a few days in Vancouver.

Alaska trip

Alaska road trip, 2004

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama

Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story
Week 4: Travel Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities and Photos

Who else is doing the challenge?

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!

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Eat, Play, Live - my personal blog Buoyancy Blog Project - a blog about resilience

23 thoughts on “Week 7: Sometimes you just have to go somewhere…”

    1. Yeah it’s quite interesting. I’ve got the rest of my life to share and explain my parent’s immigration story on how they arrived to America via everywhere else. I’m not sure how Asians in Canada are like but being an Asian in American, despite being born in America and speaking English, I still feel I am a perpetual foreigner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I kinda know how you feel because when I was younger and there were less Asian immigrants I always felt as if I didn’t belong. But now it’s gotten better and I excepted the fact that I’m Asian and Canadian.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reading about how your story started is so cool! I didn’t know you were Filipino! I was born in a Filipino refugee camp after my parents fled Vietnam. What a coincidence. I loved all your travel quotes. I love that you workaholic up to the point where you need to take a vacation. It makes sense how you started to do so many camping trips and hikes! 😉 I’m drawing all the lines over here, haha, great post!! See you around, Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! In retrospect probably would not recommend to be a work-a-holic until you hit that wall. I’ve been working a full time job since I was 22 years old — right after college! And I was a homeowner by 27 and I still felt something in my life was missing. If I were to do post-grad life over again, I would have used more PTO — take trips. I learned travelling does not have to be expensive and it does not have to be luxrious to have a good time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sooo true! Thanks for the awesome advice, I definitely have not been working full time after graduating as I prioritized traveling (life’s too short, right?) But I have been taking up jobs related to my field at short periods at a time, enough to sustain myself. Though I agree, there should be a balance between work and play. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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