A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Priorities January 27, 2008

Filed under: Round The World Trip — italicana kitchen @ 7:59 pm
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I don’t have a fairy godmother leaving me 100 bills under my pillow nor did I win the lotto (I wish!). To save up enough money to travel for seven straight months is simple. You set priorities on how you spend your money. Do you want that $400 purse or do you want a plane ticket to another country? Do you want that $4 latte every day or do you want a bungalow on a beach?

It is a simple concept but not always simple to do. America is a materialistic society. We want…want…want. We buy..buy…buy. I will be the first to admit it, I flirt with this mad game of consumption daily. However, in order to help overcome this fight, I give myself a few little rules of thumb to follow.

1. Limit unnecessary shopping. Does this item serve an actual purpose (like toothpaste) or is it unnecessary (like a new shirt)? If it is the latter, I don’t buy it. I don’t need new clothes, shoes or other fashion items. I won’t take it with me on my trip so what is the point of buying it now as it will be out of fashion when I get back?

2. Be a cook. Cooking is almost always going to be cheaper than going out to eat unless you plan to hit up a fast food restaurant every night. I cook almost every night and I always bring a lunch with me to work. I can not express how this in itself has saved me so much money. My only downfall is that I absolutely love to cook but I don’t like to cook cheap. If you are coming over for a dinner party you will find yourself enjoying a 5 course meal. But the cost for that one dinner alone is the cost of living in Asia for a week. So, this kind of cooking falls under “entertainment” and I only do it occasionally.

3. Limit entertainment. The key here is not to deny but to limit your favorite hobbies and past times. I love snowboarding and glorious powder. I adore getting dressed up and going out to dinner. I cherish the end of the day when I grab beers and happy hour with friends. I get excited to go to the movies, plays and concerts. However, traveling is also my hobby. So I have to pick and choose. Would I rather spend a day trekking in the jungle or day on the mountain?

These three simple rules have helped me think carefully about how I spend my money. It’s not that I really deny myself of anything, I just limit the number of times I do it. This has allowed me to balance living in the moment and planning for the future.

So, if you want to go on an around the world trip there is no,”I wish I could.” Rather, what you should be saying is, “I can”–then start prioritizing.


An Around the World What?

Filed under: Round The World Trip — italicana kitchen @ 12:13 am
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An “around the world trip” is an ambiguous term. I couldn’t just go around the world. I needed a plan and I needed money. What was my plan of action? What were the things I needed to do to make this happen?

With a million ideas racing through my head, I jumped out of the shower and ran to my room to grab a pen and paper. I sat down with my wet hair dripping onto the page as I wrote my new goals:

1. Be promoted to Producer
2. Save money for my trip
3. Start researching and planning

Being promoted in my job was top priority for me. If I was to take off on a trip like this, I wanted to make sure I did what I could to help set myself up for when I returned and had to get back into the realities of life. Plus, I loved my job at HL2. I worked with incredibly talented people and each day was challenging and new. The perfect kind of job for a person who loves to learn and gets bored easily.

So as you can expect, I was promoted to Producer! It was a year of hard work but filled with rewarding moments of team and self accomplishments. So, with my goal of being a Producer knocked off my list it was on to goal number two….money.


Hello world! January 21, 2008

Filed under: Round The World Trip — italicana kitchen @ 10:08 pm
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Literally, HELLO WORLD, February 13th, here I come! Three weeks in counting I will be on the road for 7 straight months, if not longer. I will be hiking mountains, swimming with dolphins, bungee jumping, crawling in caves, riding elephants, exploring jungles, kneeling on temple floors and meeting locals and other travelers from around the world. Of course, not everything will go as planned, as nothing ever does. Trains will be missed, flights will be canceled, buses will break down and upset stomachs are bound to happen. But, that is life–whether you are on the road or in your home town. Things happen for a reason and the unexpected could turn out to be some of the best memories of your life.

So, back to this incredible trip. Why and how did it all materialize? It came about in two ways, from a childhood yearning and my philosophy on life which pretty much asked me the question “how could I not?”

Every since I was a child I had always wanted to be an “astronaut, scientist, or explorer”. Well, I hate math so the astronaut gig didn’t work out. As I grew into a woman, I also grew into a social butterfly so sitting in a lab wouldn’t suffice. But, an explorer, I like that. It is a term that implies a sense of freedom, adventure, randomness, and spontaneity–all of which are my favorite attributes.

The other reason that pushed me to take this trip, came from a sudden realization about a¬†year and half ago. On another gray Seattle day, when no matter how good you have it everything still seems to suck, I hopped into the shower to warm myself up. I began to think about my life, my current goals and…. Yes, if you heard silence you heard exactly what I was hearing…silence. I realized I didn’t have any current goals. The last goal I set for myself was to get a job at HL2, which I had accomplished 6 months prior. So I decided to ask my continual life question, I only live once, what do I want to remember the most?

“Do something daring, challenging, and adventurous–travel around the world,” said the voice inside my head (or heart or elbow or toes–where does this voice come from anyways?)

Well, thank you head, heart, elbow and toes. I think I will.