Random and Odd

How did I do it?

When I was a little girl I read stories of castles. They weren’t real, they were just drawn pictures in a Disney book. When I got older and I saw a photo of a castle in a book it made it a little bit more real. As an adult I would read books that took places in castles and see movies with castles in it. People were able to actually walk around in these places and my mind was now open. I would say “someday” and I remember the moment when I said to myself, “only rich people get to have passports and travel.” It was heartbreaking.

There is something so powerful about holding your passport in your hand. All those things I had told myself were no longer true. I didn’t need to know a different language, I didn’t need to be the smartest person in the class, I didn’t need to have tons of money. All I needed was to tell myself that I could travel. I could walk around in castles. I could go to other places and open my mind to what is REALLY out there.

Every day people say there are going to go on a family vacation, bring all the kids to Hawaii or see the world and they NEVER go. They start the planning, get everyone all excited, but “life” happens and they make excuses as to why it never happened. People often blame other people for their inability to follow through. The truth is that you can’t just plan to go, talk about going, save up a few bucks. You have to follow through with EVERY SINGLE DETAIL. Not everyone can do that. I did though and I am the most unlikely person to be able to make that happen. I work an auto shop making wayyyyyy below what I am worth for what I do.

The first step is finding a travel agent that will hold you accountable. He won’t let you back out after a month or when shit gets tight. This person will keep you motivated to go and will adjust things to make sure that you can follow through.
Next is you need to be passionate about where you’re going. I’ve been to Ireland twice now and it’s because I FUCKING LOVE IT. I know I have another trip out there before I can even start thinking about the place I want to see after it.
You have to have to want it more than anything you have ever wanted in the past. Your passion to see this place has to be bigger than your fear.
Find a travel buddy that you can spend a few weeks with that at the end of those weeks you don’t want to kill. The first trip out I had Dale and it was perfect because we could go places and ditch each other to have our own experiences. We would meet up later and talk about what we saw. This last trip my travel buddy was Sue, Dale’s mom. There has never been two travel buddies better in the history of time than the two of us. All long, out of country trips will be made with Sue. Her and I were in sync the whole trip and laughed so much. She made it a true vacation for me. Dale went with us, but he brought someone who was his partner that trip.
The next part is the hardest. Putting away that money and not spending it. Everyone has put away money and “life” happens. The dog went to the vet, the car broke down, a bill you thought you can let slide is now a few months behind.
I got a envelope and I started putting whatever left over money I had in my purse, wallet, car or side job money I had in there and I would set small goals — $200. When that envelope had $200 in it I would seal it up and go get another envelope. The first time I had $1000.00 I put all the sealed envelopes into another bigger envelope and sealed it. That was the turning point. In order go to Ireland I would need about 4000.00 to pay for my flight, hotel, rooms, food and excursion trips. As soon as I could I bought my airline ticket. Once that was bought there was no back out. The race for the 3 other envelopes began!

Everyone just see’s the photos and hears the stories of the cool places I saw. They didn’t see HOW I made it happen and I think that was the most important part, because I want to motivate just one person to travel to another country and see how they live. To open their eyes to how differently we live than the rest of this big giant planet would be the greatest gift. Traveling for me isn’t about getting a couple of weeks away, it’s about learning all that I can about the people that make that little part of the planet theirs so special and unique. Learning about their culture, their rich history and the words they use to communicate is my favorite thing.

I will see more of this wonderful planet…because I follow through.