The word ‘renewal’ means different things to different people….but all would agree as to what it means at its core: a new beginning, a fresh start.
For me, I get a sense of renewal when I travel.
Daily life is mundane. It’s boring. It’s stressful. Things like bills and taxes, dirty laundry and messy apartments weigh on us. We go to work day in and day out and we deal with the same old issues, the same stupid problems over and over again.
Travel is what gets me through it all. It is important for me to always have my next adventure planned. It keeps me going even when things get pretty dark and bleak. I save a little bit of each and every paycheck to help fund my next journey, even if it is only a small amount of money…even if it’s just five dollars…I know that over time it adds up and I can make another one of my travel dreams come true.
People often ask me how I’ve gone on so many adventures already at my age and obvious not-privileged socioeconomic status.
I’ll tell you the secret: There is no secret. There is no trick. I diligently save, and I prioritize. It’s amazing how much money the average person spends on things that are unnecessary without even realizing it. A work friend once asked me how I do it. We worked at the same place and she clearly knew I couldn’t be making that much money. She also knew I was paying student loans, living in a small apartment, and driving an old car. Clearly I wasn’t rolling in the money.
I took a look at the way she lived her life. She did have a nice, new, shiny car. She lived in a nicer apartment than me. She dined out a lot, and she went shopping for her clothes at department stores. I did none of those things, instead putting money that might have gone towards material goods into a travel fund. It’s all about your priorities. Things don’t mean much to me, but experiences…that means everything to me.
The photo I chose for this post is me, throwing a coin in the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy. Look at how ecstatic I am! Rome was fantastic. The experiences I had exploring the beautiful, historic city will stay with me for a lifetime. I returned from my trip renewed, refreshed, and better able to deal with the stresses of everyday life. I was a changed person…a better person, because I had seen part of the world, experienced somewhere new.
They say when you throw a coin in the Trevi, it means you will someday return to Rome. I certainly hope that’s true.
A word of advice: If you’re ever faced with the decision between a shopping spree and a trip, choose the trip every time. It will give you so much more than you can imagine.