I remember in high school when everyone made it a point to remind us at every juncture possible that "it's not the end of the world." That the world was so much bigger than we knew it to be. I hated hearing that.
Travelers used to carry along guidebooks about each place they were visiting when exploring the world, but now you can find all the information you need in the palm of your hand. There's an app for virtually everything these days and many of them are designed to make traveling easier.
It's easy for a lack of planning to result in stress. However, for us, the opposite happened. We had the advantage of traveling during low season; while some sites were closed, most lodging options, and even the roads, were empty.
We've done this in cities and countries all over the world. One week in Cabo, two weeks in Lima, four weeks in Nicaragua and five weeks in Buenos Aires. We've done it. And our kids are growing up to be better citizens of the world because we continue to do it.
Big dates make us pause, review where our lives have taken us, reevaluate our priorities and set new goals. For those who do not have children, a change of scenery to clear your head and make a difference for communities in need can help.
As a travel writer whose inbox is always jam-packed with profound and deeply moving press releases, it started me thinking. Wasn't it high time that the finest of these works earned the recognition they deserve?
Let me say first and foremost, I love Rome! Rome excites me, enthralls and educates me. However, Rome can exhaust me. Rome is expensive, and in the throes of summer heat and throngs of tourists, it does not make me a happy traveler...To see or not to see Rome, that is the question.
We travel at the cost of sacrifices. We're happy living with just barely enough as long as we're on the road. This means that we have given up plenty of comforts for the sake of travel. We would rather choose a dorm bed in a cheap hostel, a couch, a hammock, a tent, or concrete floor.
To Yuen Yuen, the 11-year-old Chinese girl who hosted me, I am a beautiful American girl, a concept that she probably picked up from Katy Perry or Teen Vogue. If she wants the California of sun-kissed skin and Daisy Dukes, I'll give it to her.