“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”

Fall is finally upon us, and may have been for a few weeks for some of you. I love everything about fall, pumpkin spice lattes, leaf piles, cooler temperatures, fall fashion. I own ENTIRELY too many fall/winter clothes for living in Texas. I feel like this photo sums up our annual weather pretty accurately:

While I can't say that this is true for ALL of Texas, it is most definitely true for Houston!
While I can’t say that this is true for ALL of Texas, it is most definitely true for Houston!

I think Christmas 2013 was the first time in like 17 years that I remember not wearing shorts on Christmas. We had a freakishly cold, hard winter last year and it was amazing. I know those of you that live where it gets cold regularly are probably looking at me like I’m crazy. My avid interest in fall attire probably stems from the fact that I was born and raised in the wrong climate, you want what you can’t have right? My point being, I love fall and winter. I love wrapping myself in layer after layer and warming up with a warm beverage. We may only get about 3 weeks of it here before the hard freeze sets in, but I’ll take what I can get!

By the way, this is a response to this Daily Prompt

Inspiring Words (I Hope)

So I discovered this blog piece via a friend’s Facebook post, a friend I actually met through traveling. This piece really struck me because I often struggle to find the right things to say when people ask me why I travel, how does it benefit me more than buckling down and working on my career. Brianna Wiest‘s list is 16 great examples of how I have benefited, and continue to benefit from the gift of travel.

Have you ever felt as though you were more (for lack of a better word) mature than a majority of your friends? Even as a passing thought? I know I have, and I also know that it’s not true; I just have a different way of thinking due to my traveling. I could analyze every single bullet point in her post and how I can relate to it, but instead I’ll just elaborate on my favorite. 🙂

The way you were raised isn’t the only way. Immersing yourself in one culture shows you that the standards you’re holding yourself to are subjective.

I love, love, LOVE this point. This is probably my all time favorite part of traveling, having my social norms challenged and experiencing culture shock again and again. When you are so out of your normal environment you are forced to reevaluate your standards on almost a daily basis. This is something that I’ve carried on into my every day life, and I can’t imagine it being any other way. Sticking to just one way of doing things? What a drag! The great thing about living in an incredibly diverse city like Houston is that I can experience this culture shock every day if I really wanted to! It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am directionally challenged, I have lived in Houston my entire life and I still rely on GPS to get me places. When I’m feeling adventurous I chuck the GPS out the window (figuratively speaking of course) and try to navigate myself to my final destination. 90% of the time I make it there, the other 10% I just end up woefully lost and running back to my GPS pleading for mercy. That 90% success rate has led me to discover wonderful art installations throughout the city, eat at incredible restaurants, and provided some of the best people watching opportunities, i.e. Juan Carlos, who you may recognize from AMGT. You don’t have to travel far to experience these things, just allow yourself to be open to doing things completely different for an entire day and see where it takes you.

I’d love to hear about an experience you had while traveling or getting lost that really made you rethink the way you approach things. Feel free to leave your thoughts 🙂

Who I am and why I’m here.

So I am participating in the Blogging101 course offered by WordPress, and I am already slacking on my homework. (Trust me, I don’t know how I got my college degree either) So let’s see, for those just joining my name is Laura and I am currently living in Houston, TX. I work a semi-desk job currently but I what I really love to do is travel. That’s what this blog’s main focus is going to be, my travel adventures: past travel, future travel etc. Occasionally I may post some of my fitness musings, I have currently been working on loving my body and becoming healthier and I will need some help holding myself accountable. That’s where you, my lovely readers, come in.

So why not just keep a personal journal or scrapbook for all this stuff? If you know me, you know that I love to talk about where I’ve been, where I’m going or where you’ve been and where you’re going! This isn’t to brag or shove it in people’s faces, traveling is a passion of mine and I am constantly searching for other passionate people. I also hope to show people (particularly young people) that travel IS possible. I think an alarming amount of folks see price tags and immediately decide that they will never be able to take that dream trip. I don’t have an endless supply of money, my parents do not help me with my travel funds. I do this on my own and I hope that I can show you how to do that as this blog grows. If I can inspire one person to sit down and make their travel dream become a reality, I would consider this blog a success.

My least favorite “F” word..

“So what are you planning on doing in the future?”

“What career path are you working towards?”

“So, what do you want to do with your life?”

 

Questions that cause every twenty-something fresh out of college to roll their eyes and shake their head; or, if you’re anything like me, chew your lip and immediately start feeling anxious.

 

When I sit down and really think about what I want to be when I grow up, I find that I can’t really give a concrete answer. I know plenty of people that have a five year plan written out and are taking daily steps to reach their goals, to them I say “Congratulations!!” I graduated high school and did what I was “supposed” to do and went to a four-year university and graduated with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Do I currently work in a hotel or restaurant? No. Do I plan on working in a hotel or restaurant in the future? No. Then Laura, why the heck did you study it?! Well, I thought that my love of travel would translate well into hospitality management. It didn’t. So Laura, what ARE your future plans? You know, I’m really not sure. What I am sure about is that my future will involve lots of traveling, learning, growing, helping and inspiring.

 

Traveling is the one thing I wish was an option to major in, I would have graduated summa cum laude. I would have been the shining star of the class, the teacher’s pet, and I would be 100% OK with that! Traveling forces us to open ourselves to new experiences and new people. It teaches so much and it’s something that I have become very passionate about. I have learned so much more by hitting the road and talking to people than I ever did from any textbook or lecture. Stepping out of your comfort zone inherently causes you to grow as a human being, and that is such a remarkable thing. My main goal for this blog is to share my travels with you, or those of you that care (here’s looking at you mom). And I just want a place to dump my thoughts and hopes of future travel. Maybe you’ll enjoy reading, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration you’ve been looking for to finally take that dream trip of yours, or perhaps you’ll just live vicariously through my posts. Whatever may float your boat, I invite you to read and enjoy and feel free to leave your feedback!

Let’s Try Something New…

Hello Blogging World!

Welcome to my very first blog post, I hope you are as excited [read: terrified] as I am! Where should I begin? My name is Laura and I am currently located in Houston, TX. (Official Mascot: Beyonce) I am an Office Coordinator/Kid Wrangler at a small private high school, and I really am enjoying every second of it. GO WILDCATS!

I am a self-proclaimed Nomad-At-Heart. Given the choice between a swanky downtown apartment with all the latest and greatest gadgets and living out of a suitcase, I’d gladly choose the latter. Carrying only what you absolutely need is a very liberating experience. Although, let me be the first to say that I am still learning how to do this. Packing exactly what I don’t need is my specialty.

Having grown up with a parent that worked for an airline, I was very fortunate to be able to travel pretty easily. We always flew standby, which was frustrating to me as a kid; On good days we had tickets waiting for us when we got to the gate, on bad days we were forced to sleep in the terminal to catch the first flight out in the morning. (Cue tantrums in the middle of the terminal. God bless my parents.) As an adult, I now realize that this was the biggest life lesson I have learned to date: flexibility. I mean I just don’t think you know the true meaning of the word until you’ve cut a vacation short, slept on a bench outside of the airport for the night, or had family breakfast, lunch and dinner at an impossibly small cafe table all to try and catch a flight home. It’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Travel is worth any cost

I believe in self-love and self-expression. Over the last year or so I’ve been on a mission to love myself more, and the deeper I dive into this mission the more I’ve noticed one thing: Our society sucks. When it comes to our body perception the US media has some pretty screwed up and impossible standards. I know that I’m not stating anything new or profound here, but I’ve officially had enough. If I want a cheeseburger with extra fries for lunch, I’m going to have a damn cheeseburger and extra fries for lunch. I’m done with trying to measure up to the media’s impossible standards. I am believer that positivity breeds positivity. It’s a cliche for a reason people. I am working to be more positive in my everyday life and in return I’ve already seen positivity returned to me. I am always striving to strengthen myself mentally, physically and spiritually. I fight to always be true to myself and to never compromise. I hope that in some way, shape or form this blog encourages others to do the same.

Grow