Wanderlust

Friday Favorites: Give Me The Globe

Do something today that your future self
Do something today that your future self

Happy Friday! I'm linking up for Friday Favorites. I have so many fun things going on here at Give Me The Globe this week. Here are a few of my favorite things heading into Friday!

Trip Planning: I am planning a trip to Napa for my husband, myself, my brother and SIL! I am so excited for all of the wineries we are visiting plus a few amazing dinner options I can't wait to tell you about! We are even going to do a hot air balloon ride, which is one thing I have never done! It's hard to believe it, but I'll be heading up into the sky via balloon for the first time!

Cooler Weather: I can not wait for cooler weather to hit Austin! I am headed to Park City in a few weekends and the temps look awesome. I can't wait to pull out a few sweaters and some jeans for the trip.

Football Season: We are huge football fans around here (and I mean huge!) and we can't wait for Texas football to start. We try to make all of the games in person, but this weekend we will be watching Texas (hopefully) beat up on Notre Dame on TV!

What are your favorite things this Friday?

Writing down my travel bucket list

Being an entrepreneur and a travel lover, the two sides of my personality are often at odds. I always want to travel but I always want and need to work. I try to make time for both (and I have a few great trips coming up I can't wait to tell you about), but right now it has been over a month since I have been anywhere. We have had a lot of guests in Austin, which we always love, but my Wanderlust is a little bit out of control. The best way for me to keep my love of travel in check is to write down all of the places in the world I really want to go to. Then I can start figuring out how to make it happen. This is what my current travel bucket list looks like:

1. Antarctica- Ever since I knocked South Africa and Peru off of my travel bucket list, Antarctica has risen to the top. Due to the lack of cell phone service and wifi on an Antarctica cruise it will likely be a very long time before I can go there! Regardless, once I go here I will have visited every continent in the world.

2. South East Asia- My husband's Aunt lives in Singapore right now and we would love to go there + Thailand + Cambodia. I suspect we will knock this off the list in 2016!

3. New Mexico- So close to Texas, yet so far! I have always wanted to go to Santa Fe!

4. Maine and Vermont- This will probably not happen until a few summers from now, because I really want to visit in the summer. This is part just a place I really want to visit and part visiting family.

5. Utah - I wrote about wanting to visit the Mighty Five! I still want to plan at least a week long trip to see all of the national parks.

6. Israel and Greece- I have been to Israel twice before but I really want to return with my husband and stop off in Greece. This could be a trip that happens five years down the line.

Where should I go next??

Booking Summer Travel: Do it now!

Summer is my busiest time of the year for work, which means I don't get to do a lot (if any) travel! It totally sucks, but I love my summer camp business and that is my focus during the summer. That being said, this year I am trying to sneak in a few small vacations.

Even though most people in Texas hate it, I actually loved visiting Galveston last summer and I'm hoping to do it again this summer. There is just something really fun about waking up next to the ocean, visiting beach shops and being near the coast.

I am also planning a small family getaway to the Caribbean. It isn't the best time to go, but I'll have internet access and will be working from the beach with my family for a few days.

I'll also be visiting my favorite travel buddies in California for a few days before my summer rush starts.

Now is the perfect time to book your summer travel, so get on it! Flight deals most likely won't be available for long and prices will start to go up. Hurry up summer, we are anxiously awaiting your arrival!

Adding Travel to your New Year's Resolutions

Now that the holidays are over, I immediately am shifting my focus to the new year. With the new year, I always try and think through my goals for the first half of the year. For the longest time I always created goals in the same four categories: Career, Physical, Relationships and Skills. A few years ago I finally saw a goal setting workbook that included two additional categories: Travel and Experiences. A light went off in my brain and I thought OF COURSE! How had I not included those in my goals before? To give you an idea of how I incorporated these, here were my travel and experience goals:

2014 Travel Goals:

1. Take a trip with a friend (check x3- My trips to PhiladelphiaCharleston and South Africa all included friends)

2. Plan a big trip overseas with my husband (check- My trip to South Africa and Zambia)

Experience Goals:

1. Go on a yoga retreat with my friend Elissa (I have not completed this goal yet, but I will in the new year)

2. Take a ski lesson (Check  x2- My trip to Colorado)

2015 Travel Goals:

1. Plan another big overseas trip

2. Plan a trip with my girlfriends

Experience Goals:

1. Go on a yoga retreat with my friend Elissa

2. Plan a fun experience for my three year old nephew (I don't know if this will happen in 2015, but I want to start thinking through something fun for us to do together)

Sometimes I like to leave my travel goals more open (such as take a big trip) and sometimes I like them to be very specific (such as taking a ski lesson). The best way for me to be sure that I am going to do what I hope in the new year is to write it down!

What are your travel and experience goals for 2015?

Adding Wanderlust to your Home Decor

Lately I've been "workin workin workin day and night." The hardest part, for me, about owning my own business is that it makes it nearly impossible for me to plan big trips and take multiple weeks off. In an effort to not go stir crazy, I've been adding some travel decor to my home.

It's been really fun to add a few new items around the house that remind me of my love for travel. Here are a few of the things I've picked up.

1. Bar Ware- You don't typically think of barware as travel related, but the C. Wonder store has some amazing travel related items. After our trip to Africa, I really wanted to add some animal items to our house and this was the perfect way.

The first item I added are these incredible animal safari glasses from C. Wonder. I have a glass bar cabinet so I see them every day and they remind me so much of the amazing animals we saw in Africa. I couldn't help myself so I also bought this safari wine bottle opener.

Just these two items remind me so much of Africa. Of course, I picked up a few wooden pieces in Africa as well, which I have scattered all over the house.

2. Maps- I actually bought this over a year ago for my husband on our first anniversary (paper), but I love it just as much now as when I bought it. This pushpin travel map from Etsy makes me smile every time I walk in the room!

I especially love it because you can keep track with different color pushpins of places you have been together versus separately. Even though we have been A LOT of places, our map looks a little bare (Russia is a huge chunk of the map :)).

3. Books- I have a very extensive travel book collection and I've been adding to it for the last year or so. Even though a lot of information is on the internet, I love having a book from places I have been. Recently I added the following books to my collection (PS some of these are affiliate links):

Humans of New York- Even though this isn't really a travel book per say, this book reminds me a lot about WHY I love to travel. The people, the connections, the moments, the experiences. The book also makes a wonderful coffee table book or gift.

Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home- This book was written by the founders of the safari I went on in September. I bought the book as soon as I got home and absolutely fell in love with it. It's also home to one of my favorite travel quotes: "You can from where you stand, make a decision to restore from within, even if your mind screams that it is not possible. Whatever feels unresolved, the animal part of you is already tracking the healing you need. Follow that trail, the medicine will feel like freedom."

Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph- For anyone who loves to explore and experience nature, this is a book for you. It tracks Jennifer Pharr Davis as she breaks the record for hiking the Appalachian Trail. It's a beyond fantastic book and always reminds me to get out of my comfort zone when I travel.

I'm always looking to add more decor to my house to make it feel more like the house of a world traveler. Comment below and let me know what else I should add to my house!

Facing your Fears when you Travel

For someone who loves to travel, I am scared of A LOT of things. I hate flying, I hate heights, I hate feeling unsafe in a new situation and I hate being scared. But I love to explore so I find myself in situations a lot where I have to decide: Should I face my fear or not? On our most recent trip to Africa I had to ask myself this A LOT:

1. Should I fly on a small plane or take a car ride that is much longer?

Here I am on the tiniest plane on earth on the windiest day ever. 

2. Should I swim to the edge of the world's largest waterfall?

3. Should I get close to a lion?

As you can see, I ended up doing all three! I've developed some criteria for facing my fears that helps me assess if there is actual risk or if I'm just making up stories in my head.

1. Is the activity safe? Even though I was scared of Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls, the activity is generally safe and nobody has died there while on an organized tour. I figured that given their safety rate it was a good idea to do the activity even though I was afraid.

2. Will doing the activity make my trip better? I really did not want to take a small plane into our Safari, but taking a car would have added 2+ hours onto our trip and caused us to miss our first and last game drive. If doing an activity will make my trip better, I am willing to do it.

3. Is anyone else scared? Even though this probably shouldn't be a criteria, I often look to others to see how rational my fear is. I was really scared of the lions on our safari, but as I looked around our tracker and guide were not scared at all. I figured if they weren't scared, I didn't need to be scared.

Asking myself those three questions helps me be more brave than I normally would be. Of course, I too have my limits. You won't see my jumping off a bridge or out of a plane anytime soon! And I am totally OK with that!!

Traveling and working: When to go and when to stay

Today I am linking up with the #sundaytraveler linkup! Thanks to Pack Me To, the awesome travel blogger that I found this linkup through.

Pack Me To

The hardest part about my love for travel is that I also love my business. I started a marketing agency for summer camps a little over a year and a half ago and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life. My other greatest joy? Exploring the world, of course.

When I worked for a company, it was much easier to explore the world than it is now. I had 21 days of paid vacation, an awesome group of team members who could cover my work and managers who agreed that taking a break every once in a while was a great idea. In fact I traveled to Turks and Caicos, Mexico, Australia, Hawaii, Atlanta, Colorado, Miami, Seattle, Vancouver, New Orleans, Las Vegas and North Carolina all in the three years that I was in my previous job.

When I left my job to start my company I was home bound for months at a time trying to attract new clients and build up my business. Then came business travel, which just isn't the same experience or adventure that I found in other trips. For a while business travel took up most of my time, but I finally let go in September and decided that I had to get out of the country. Our trip to Africa was an amazing cleanse for me, but it left me questioning everything even more.

When should I stay and when should I go?

Traveling is so important to me, but without my business I can't really afford to travel. It's the strangest dichotomy of loving two things at once. When I travel, I miss the routine of working and I worry about how work is going in my absence. When I'm at home, I wait and plan anxiously for my next trip. I love to explore, but I love to work. What's a travel and business lover to do?

Must Do: Safari at Londolozi

If I'm being honest, I've been putting off writing a review of our safari at Londolzi ever since we returned from South Africa. The entire experience was so transformative for me that I didn't know if I could do it justice by just writing a list of my favorite things. All I can say is that if I had to go back anywhere in the world right this second, I would head straight there.

Every second, every moment, every experience at Londolzi was the most unique, exciting experience of my life. Can't thank enough our tracker/ranger duo Derick and Sean for leading the way.

The entire amazing experience reminded me of one of my favorite travel quotes: "I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was and still am glad I was there."