More Travel. Less Excuses.

We all have our vices and mine happens to be travel.

I’m willing to be groped, felt up, and prodded for the privilege of getting on a plane. Scan me. Take nude pictures. Limit my liquids to three-ounce containers. Charge me for overweight luggage. Whatever.

France Train Station

Stick me in a middle seat for 22 hours if it means I’m able to sip wine at Cloudy Bay in New Zealand. Place me in front of two drunk, obnoxious Russians if I am able to see the Singapore skyline. Load me down with my body weight in luggage if I’m able to experience Vietnam tours. Sit me behind a crying newborn with an ear infection if I’m able to walk the streets of Ancient Rome.  For me, it’s all a means to an end. I sound like a junkie, and in a way, I am.

Rio Christ the Redeemer

Hi. My name is Leah, and I’m a wanderluster.

As humans, we find comfort in the familiar; it’s safe. And while I admit there is something to be said for the safe confines of home, there’s nothing I’d rather do than go some place new. Every trip feels like a first date; I’m excited with nervous anticipation. I want to try everything. Well, maybe not everything. There’s some crazy stuff in China I wouldn’t eat. Silkworm on a stick anyone? Travel reminds me there is more to life than what exists in my little bubble.

Lake Tekapo

Thanks to technology, I’ve blogged about my travels for several years. I do this as much for myself as I do for others. It’s flattering to know that people actually take the time to read the words I’ve written. Without fail, someone writes, “Thanks for taking me places I’ll never go.”  It takes me aback when I read that. I want to ask,

“Why not? Why can’t you?”

Burren in Ireland

Many file travel in the one day category, often without any real intention of following through. They dream of places they’ll go and things they’ll do. But, that’s it. It’s just a dream.

Why must it be though?

St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only a page.“ Can you imagine going through your whole life living just one page? How boring and such a waste! My mantra is that life is too short to live with a someday mentality. I encourage you to think about where you want to go, make a plan, and do it. What are you waiting for?

Today will never happen again.

Clouds over NYC

Where do you dream of going? What are you doing to get there?

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47 Comments
  • Liz
    January 29, 2013

    Well….a few things keep me from taking off.
    1. Money
    2. Kids
    3. Money

    🙂
    I am an avid wanderluster too…..I dream of all the places I will see. I have never left the country. (gasp!) But….I have had many adventures stateside. With three kiddos in school and sports…it’s hard to just pick up and go. And being a stay at home mom…a one income family….doesn’t pay too great for travel.
    My husband and I make it a point to go somewhere with the kids during Spring Break and Summer though. I blog about our travels and adventures and it’s been great. I love finding all the cool places families would love throught the US because it’s attainable for most of us with a little planning.
    I would love to expand that fmaily fun overseas someday. You never know. 🙂
    By the way….I am insanely jealous of your travels and all of your amazing pictures.

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      I think there are plenty of adventures to be had in the US. In fact, I have a list a mile long that I’ve yet to do. I think it’s great that you make it a point to give your kids (and yourself) the gift of travel. I didn’t leave the country until I was 17, but I traveled much of the US growing up and it’s something that I treasure.

    • LozinTransit
      January 30, 2013

      I thinks its all relative. Not just circumstance but even how large people’s comfort zones are and how far they want to go outside it. I dare say people would be pretty impressed (and jealous) of what you’ve accomplished Liz.

  • Anita Mac
    January 29, 2013

    Love it Leah! Seriously…other than the silk worm…I am on the exact same page! Thanks for sharing so many of your amazing adventures….as a fellow wanderluster, I love reading about the places you go! Happy Travels….

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      Yes, Anita, we certainly are kindred spirits in that regard. I’m looking forward to your next trip and following along.

  • D.J. - The World of Deej
    January 29, 2013

    I dream of Scotland. I hear they have golf there.

    Great stuff, as usual.

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      I have heard a rumor about golf in Scotland. Would this be the appropriate time to tell you I *might* be going to the British Open this year?

      • D.J. - The World of Deej
        January 31, 2013

        I think you already rubbed my nose in that once before, but I may or may not have some irons in the fire there too:)

  • Jennifer
    January 29, 2013

    Well, it took us a few years to make traveling more than once or twice a year a real possibility. But the fact remains that it costs money to travel and many people are barely making ends meet. So I think money is a big factor for why more people don’t travel. Then there is fear. A lot of people have fear about not speaking the language, not knowing how to get around, or in the case of my mom, a deathly fear of flying.

    I’m a travel addict myself (and am having nervous breakdowns that I’m likely not going anywhere in the month of February) but travel isn’t for everyone. Some just like to live vicariously through our adventures.

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      It does cost money to travel, but not as much as many people believe. I get comments from people that make a better living than me wishing they could “have my life” or “travel like me”. With those folks, it’s all a matter of priority. Do you want to travel or have a brand new car? Are you investing your money in things or experiences?

      I do believe that travel is for most. I think that people need to find the kind of travel that suits them. A cruise or guided tour may be a way for those with certain fears to travel while still feeling comfortable. There’s always road trips within your state or country. Travel isn’t determined by the mode of transport or number of miles gone. I believe travel is about seeing places you’ve never been or even revisiting those places that you have.

      Like you I’m having a bit of anxiety in not having firm February travel plans. We must change that.

      • Loz in Transit
        January 30, 2013

        “Travel isn’t determined by the mode of transport or number of miles gone”
        Great point. I’ve been trying to reframe what I mean by ‘travel’ in this way too. What’s great about the experience/knowledge you gain from travel that’s different from reading books or maturing is that it’s not passive. The new places, people and experiences you encounter are ones you sought out. That sense of meeting the adventure is part of the appeal and what makes it enriching. Its not so much how many miles you traveled but how far from your comfort zone you ventured.

        • Leah Travels
          February 2, 2013

          Well said, as always. I agree, travel of any kind is not a passive thing. It doesn’t just happen, nor do the experiences and memories gained.

  • Ele
    January 29, 2013

    My main obstacle is money, that’s why I’m not married, no kids, living with my family now (read- I can save for travel this way). And the main drawback is other bloggers: once I set my mind to say Austria I read a blog post and I want to go to Uganda. URGH. Choices, choices….

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      It seems as if you’re making sacrifices in order to achieve your dream of more travel. It’s not always easy, is it? But it makes the reward that much more grand. And ditto on the other bloggers. I have a million places on my to-do list thanks to travel blogs.

  • fotoeins | Henry
    January 29, 2013

    Yes, Leah, I like reading your words that speak directly to the heart of the matter.

    Thank you for taking me to places I’ve been and want to go back. 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      As someone who traveled the world for a year, I’m sure you can weigh in on what you had to do in order to achieve that goal. I bet that it made your RTW that much sweeter…if that’s possible.

  • thelazytravelers
    January 29, 2013

    amen, from fellow wanderlust-ers. except we’re not huge fans of the nude-scan in airport security lines (good girls, and all that…)

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      Good girls…who are you trying to fool?

  • The World Wanderer
    January 29, 2013

    I adore every word of this and feel the EXACT same way. I have NO problem with the groping and nude scans, heck do whatever you need to do folks, just get me where I need to go! Love, love, love!

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      Haha…yeah. I don’t even care as long as my butt is in my seat when the plane is taking off.

  • Jeff @ GoTravelzing
    January 29, 2013

    I think about this everyday. How can I travel more? What can I do to turn my business into a location free business? I know I will get there. It is just not as fast as I would like.

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      You and me both, Jeff. Time is what I need and I am making a plan and getting there. Things we want don’t just magically appear. We have to make it happen, and that’s what frustrates me when I hear comments like, “you’re so lucky.” If I was lucky I would win the damn lottery and not have to worry about figuring out how to get more time off from my job. Haha!

      • Jeff @ GoTravelzing
        January 30, 2013

        People that think you are “Lucky” clearly have no idea how much work you are doing to get what you want. Working at a job is easy compared to creating a new business. I have been working for myself for ten years and it is not always easy but it beats working for someone else. My main problem is that I can not take the long trips that I would like. I can take as many 3-4 day trips as my budget would allow but I can not get outside the U.S. in 4 days.

        • Leah Travels
          February 2, 2013

          I agree, Jeff. Starting something from scratch is difficult, especially for someone who is uber competitive like myself. I don’t like to half-ass things, as I’m sure you don’t either. But don’t discount getting out of the country in four days. I’ve done Switzerland and Spain in four days. It wasn’t ideal, but some is better than nothing.

  • Traveling Ted
    January 29, 2013

    Great inspiration for those reading this travel blog instead of traveling.

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      Thanks, Ted. I know I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to you.

  • @mrsoaroundworld
    January 30, 2013

    Amen, sister! Seriously, you are spot on. I am a wonderluster myself.. and my favourite verb is GO! Memories are the most amazing things we have – and I am honoured to have shared quite a few with you!

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      Yes, ma’am. We have lots more memories to make.

  • Fiona
    January 30, 2013

    Love this Leah. Have booked so many trips this way, don’t over-think it, just go! 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      January 30, 2013

      I like your thinking. Just go!

  • Lisa
    January 30, 2013

    I have been wanting to go to France for years and last year I figured out I could actually save for it. Sure it’s been hard saving for it, no Hollywood Bowl subscription, no eating out…but this summer we’re going!

    • Leah Travels
      February 2, 2013

      YAY! I can’t wait to see your photos from France. I did saving like you did for New Zealand. I can promise that it made the trip that much better knowing that I wasn’t coming home to credit card bills. In fact, I over saved which allowed me to buy some art in New Zealand.

  • Mike Hinshaw
    January 30, 2013

    You are a big inspiration to me and I can only dream of a few of the places you have been. My wife has an open mind and we are contemplating the first ten years or so after she retires (Ecuador, Spain and Chang Mai Thailand). Who knows from there. Still working on my web site so don’t look yet! Ha! Keep sharing with the world!

    • Leah Travels
      February 2, 2013

      Mike, you’re too sweet. No dreaming…only planning. I know you’ve been lots of places I’ve not visited, but I’ll get there sooner or later.

  • Jeremy Branham
    January 30, 2013

    The last few days I’ve been planning my trips for 2013. I am very excited about the possibilities and want to see new destinations. Next week, I will embark upon my second trip of 2013 – and it’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a trip.

    I am trying to plan trips to places I’ve never been before and maybe even one I’ve already been. I am excited about this year but I’ve got a lot of planning ahead. I am sure you will have fun in Spain, again, in March 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      February 2, 2013

      There’s nothing better than preparing for a place you’ve never been, except maybe returning to a place you’ve loved. I’m curious to know all the places you have in mind. And yes, I know I’ll enjoy Spain, yet again.

  • Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    January 31, 2013

    I still can’t get use to the groping but doesn’t stop me from going. Next on our list: Africa! Not sure when.. but it will happen. One day.

  • Megb
    January 31, 2013

    I had to laugh at the groping comment. You could do an “airport with the most thorough groping policy” post. That would be PAP, Haiti, btw. I think money and time are a huge issue for people because they only see travel as something you do once a year to a land far, far away. I started “traveling” with my kids when we had no money and they were very small (to NYC for the day…40 miles away :), on a train trip along a river (20 miles away with a library pass), to the local lighthouse museum (free on Tuesdays) and on to bigger things we they got older. It was a mindset…go and see what’s out there. We also stopped buying presents for birthdays and Christmas and gifted trips, both small and large instead. The memories of travel last forever. That said, I have tons a friends and relatives that prefer the comforts of home. To each their own (and they watch my house while I’m gone 🙂 )

    • Leah Travels
      February 2, 2013

      Where there’s a will there’s a way. I bet your kids will have fond memories of visiting NYC. In reality, you could go to so many countries just in New York. That would be fun for kids of all ages. One day you’re in Italy and the next, China.

  • lola
    February 3, 2013

    i dream of going everywhere & even if it kills me, i’m getting where i want to go.

    • Leah Travels
      February 4, 2013

      Yet another reason why we’re such great friends.

  • Andrea MacEachern
    February 3, 2013

    The discomforts of travel are worth going through in order to travel! Travel is one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves and it enriches our lives in so many ways but like everything good, there is always a little bit of bad that comes with it!

    • Leah Travels
      February 4, 2013

      Exactly. Everything can’t just be rainbows and butterflies. Like life, you take the good with the bad when it comes to travel.

  • Ryan
    February 7, 2013

    Now this is some stellar mojo dahhhhling! Great article, and powerful words of encouragement to get out there! Our minds think alike, especially with the section about “Tomorrow will never happen again” . I know this well and I think it is great to try and get people to see that they need to live each day, not just wait for each workday to end. Happy travels!

    • Leah Walker
      February 10, 2013

      Thanks, Ryan. I know I’m totally preaching to the choir with you.

  • Ruth
    February 18, 2013

    Cool post! It is all about expanding your comfort zone and discovering all the awesome things you can do in life. A lot of stuff happens when you go places (not always great things) and that teaches you a lot of lessons.

    • Leah Walker
      February 20, 2013

      Thank you, Ruth. It’s hard to control what’s going on around you, but you can control what you do about it. That’s a great lesson to learn through travel. I agree!

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