“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~Earnest Hemingway
This is probably not breaking news for those of you who know me or have been around this here blog, but I travel. A lot. Be it weekend trips to see The Boy from Texas or my crazy family, amazing trips to Europe, crazy events like steeplechases or running with yucky naked people or St. Patty's Day in Chicago, or work trips that take me to every small town in Texas....this girl knows a thing or two about traveling.
So today I thought I'd share a few tips for you other travelers out there.
1. Make yo bed before you go. My mother is probably currently doing a mix of head nodding and having a stroke that I am actually saying this after rebelling and refusing to do so for so many years of my life. But I'm here to tell you, before I go on a trip of any length, I put clean sheets on my bed and make that baby up. The odds are that I'm going to return exhausted, late at night, probably sunburnt, and there's not much that beats crawling into a fresh, clean bed!
2. Have two of everything. I'm talking toiletries here girls. I have two of everything---hair brushes, toothbrushes, shampoos, razors, soap, deodorant....you name it. I keep my travel stuff in a big ziplock baggie and it never leaves my suitcase. This prevents me frantically trying to pack 5 minutes before I have to get out the door and leaving my deodorant sitting on the counter. I know that it's already packed and I'm good to go.
3. Always have some cash. I'm actually really terrible about this one kids. I'm completely reliant on my friend DC---debit card. But, that being said, when you travel, you need to have some cash. I keep a $20 in my truck at all times (no one go robbing me!). I always try to have a $20 in my wallet before I leave town. And I keep some change in my purse in case I have to pay to use the bathroom....I've told you before how this is just the dumbest thing ever in life about traveling in Europe. You don't want to be caught next to some old castle with a full bladder and no Euro.
4. Get off the beaten path. Some of my favorite experiences have happened when I got off the tourist map and just explored. You meet the locals. You see amazing piazzas. You eat yummy food at awesome side street restaurants. You accidentally end up at a Feast Day celebration. I'm all for doing the touristy things and taking your picture in front of the Coliseum, but give randomly wandering around a try for an afternoon. My bet is that you'll love it.
5. Enjoy the experience. Traveling can be stressful---worrying about delayed flights or slow cabs or hotel reservations can make you crazy. Sometimes there are differences in the place you are that make you crazy. There is no Dr. Pepper in Wisconsin. They have no idea what you mean by "green" when you're ordering enchiladas in California. Europe doesn't believe in ice. Have I mentioned you have to pay to use the potty?? But you know.....let it all go. It really doesn't matter. Look around, appreciate where you are, find the beauty. As they say, it's the journey and all.