There are certain bloggers that I’m just absolutely fascinated with. Their stories, travels, and lifestyle is so intriguing, I can’t help but stalk their blogs just waiting for another post! Casey is one of those bloggers. Not only am I insanely jealous over her constant travels, but she also hails from Portland, Oregon. Love that! Please make sure you go visit her blog and say hi!
Hi Living in Another Language readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting here today! I’m Casey from True Colours, a travel blog that encompasses my passion for seeing the world and documenting my trips and tips for everyone with a little wanderlust in their hearts! I do a lot of traveling, both for work and for pleasure, and throughout each trip, I always come out the other end with a lesson, with something that stopped me in my tracks and taught me something important. Sometimes those things are as small as learning something new about a country, or finding a new lovely spot close to home. Other times though, the lessons are larger, the feelings deeper and I come away from my travels changed from how I started. Travel has a way of teaching us in ways that perhaps nothing else can; it makes us look at our world and ask the tough questions as we wander through it. Travel for me always teaches a lesson, no matter how far you go or what the destination may be, it’s the lessons from my travels that keep me coming back for more.
This year alone, my travels have taken me near and far, changed me, opened my eyes and challenged me in ways that previous travels had not. So today, these are the most important lessons I’ve learned from my travels this past year. Some of the destinations near, some of them far away, but in each place, a new lesson was learned and something new inside of me awakened.
This past March, my husband and I went on a family trip with my in-laws through France and Italy. Among other lessons, one of the most important I took away from this trip was that it’s okay to not like a destination. I’ve been through Italy twice now, and have traveled through Rome, Milan and Verona and while I know there is so much more to Italy than those 3 cities, I can’t say that I love Italy. I’ve realized this year, that that is totally ok. We all have places that we like and dislike and there is nothing wrong with voicing our opinions. I happen to adore Paris, but I know many people don’t, so when you find a place you don’t really love, know that that is all part of the journey and that travel doesn’t always necessarily mean falling in love with your destination.
On that same trip in March, I also realized the power of taking in a place on your own. I was surrounded by people the whole trip and by the time we arrived in Nice, our final destination, I needed some time with France just on my own. France is my favorite country in the world for numerous different reasons, but I realized during that trip that I hadn’t appreciated being there because we were so busy showing family around and moving from monument to monument. I wasn’t enjoying “my France,” and it suddenly hit me in Nice, that all I wanted to do was spend an afternoon wandering around Nice on my own, taking it all in and enjoying the moment. After all, what is travel without the ability to take a moment out of time and space and just take in your surroundings?
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
In May of this past year, my husband and I took took a long weekend and drove through New England, from Maine down through Rhode Island. I had our itinerary planned with the stops we wanted to make, places we wanted to see along the way and the places I thought, from research, we’d love. Turns out, the place that stole our heart and we loved the most was little Newport, Rhode Island, a stop we weren’t even sure we should make. The lesson we learned was that some of the places you encounter might not be planned, but they will make an impact. Travel is all about impact, it’s all about finding those gems in the world that you fall in love with and Newport for me, was just that place. Sometimes you’ll happen across a place that really will take your breath away.
While I love Paris dearly and I try to make yearly trips to the City of Light, I took my first solo trip there this past Summer. Technically it was a work trip, but even so, I spent days wandering around London and Paris without my husband and realized that no place really is the same without the person you love. Nick and I have a deep love affair with Paris, and it’s sort of “our city.” So being there without him (even though this wasn’t my first time traveling internationally alone), just felt wrong. I realized there that no matter where you are in the world, it really does matter who is beside you. Personally, Nick is my favorite travel companion and I’d rather travel with him than by myself. This particular trip taught me a very valuable lesson for the future, travel is just travel unless you make it special, and for me, special is being with my husband.
In October, Nick and I ventured down to Napa for the weekend. Coming from Oregon, it was a quick trip and we had planned to celebrate my birthday while there as well. But Friday afternoon about 2 hours prior to leaving, I was so worn down from a crazy few weeks that I almost canceled our trip to spend the weekend recuperating in my own bed. In the end, Nick talked me in to going and I’m so glad for it. The Napa area was stunning and there were so many moments during our time there that I looked around me and wondered how I could ever give this up. Travel is exhausting, life is exhausting, but when you make the time and the effort to travel, you realize that the world is a truly beautiful place and seeing those gorgeous destinations (and the not so gorgeous ones), it is always worth the effort you put in.
Travel is one lesson after another and personally, I hope I never stop learning from my adventures. The world has a way of showing us what really matters and with each trip, with each adventure that comes, I know I’ll walk away a better person than before. I hope you’ll head over and follow along on my next adventures on True Colours! I’ve got some great ones on the horizon!