When I was a kid I really liked painting my nails. Or, rather, all of my friends really liked it, and I really wanted them to like me. The problem was, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, and the incomes of most of my friends’ families were well above the “midde class” line. I couldn’t afford to get a manicure done every week like them, so I taught myself. I don’t know how much nail polish and nail polish remover I must have gone through, but I sat down in my bathroom for hours and figured out how to paint flawlessly with both my right and left hand.
Today, when I was painting my nails, I kind of had to laugh when I thought about this. I was such a stubborn kid… and I can’t honestly say that I’ve grown out of it. At some point, I got so used to being told I couldn’t have/do things, that I made a game out of getting/doing them anyway. I affectionately referred to it as – “Watch me.”
Overall, I had a pretty unconventional childhood. I was homeschooled, didn’t have cable or internet in my house and owned enough pets to open a petting zoo. But I still was borderline obsessed with fitting in. I might have been spending hours in the library, devouring every part of Teen Vogue before it closed, but I was still reading Teen Vogue – every month.
Despite being an adventurer by nature, it wasn’t always fun. But looking back I’m really glad that I went through those years. The reason being, when I see something I “can’t have,” I don’t see a stop sign, I see a detour.
My mom always used to always say, “You might have to work twice as hard as other people, but you can, and will, succeed.”
There are always going to be obstacles in life that can seemingly prevent you from going down the path you dream about, but I want to encourage you to see it as a challenge, instead of a roadblock.
You are probably guessing where this is going next, but this principle applies to traveling, as well!
I was thinking this week about how essential it has been for me to find creative ways of traveling and pursuing the places I’m passionate about. There’s no way I would be able to practically do what I want with my life…so I have to find impractical ways of achieving my goals.
This weekend I’m going to San Francisco and I’m so extremely excited! I haven’t taken a vacation since last fall and it feels way overdue. Since this trip was not at all in my budgetary plans, I have a budget of nothing to spend on it. But, I’m still managing to make it happen.
Well, there are a few ways.
1. Always travel at an inconvenient time: Because, let’s face it – it’s inconvenient for you, it’s inconvenient for everyone else. When I fly, I will be flying out Saturday (aka day after 4th of July) at 7:00am. Fun? No. Necessary? Yes.
2. Couchsurfing: I was going to originally stay in a hostel, because I couldn’t find anyone to host me (because of the holiday), but I opened my invite up to the world, and got a host invitation a couple days ago (cutting it a bit close, huh?). So, I get to share my trip with a lovely local, and I’ll also be only 15 minutes away from the embassy, which is perfect!
3. I’m not taking luggage: Yeah, it’s four days, so I might be justified in taking more than a carry on bag, but I’m sticking to a light packing list so I’ll just be taking my backpack. It carried me through two weeks, I feel like I can make it through 4 days 🙂
4. I’m bringing things to do: I’m viewing this trip as a retreat, more so than a vacation, really. As much as I want to run around and be a tourist, what I’d really like to do is finish a book. So, I’m bringing my tablet, so I can write, and some books so I read. I obviously will go out and do fun things, but this helps it not be essential to spend money, if it isn’t absolutely necessary.
5. Looking up free events etc: On the other side of things, I do like going out sometimes, so I’m doing my research and looking up some free concerts, events etc. that I can go to without having to spend a whole lot of money.
Like I said, I am so excited for this little journey, even though it isn’t going very far from home. It’s coming at just the right time, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are going to come out of it! I’ll be posting updates here, as well as on Instagram, so feel free to follow along!