With the new year, my upcoming 30th birthday, and Whole30 challenge, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and priorities lately. One of the things I’m trying to do better this year is balancing work and personal life. I got a little carried away last year, especially shooting blogger photography, and forgot to leave enough time for myself. Now that I’ve made my resolution not to take on so much work and be more intentional when choosing opportunities, what do I do with my extra time?
One of my goals is to travel more. And if not more often, at least be sure to document it better through journaling and photography. Traveling has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. In fact, my life as I know it basically started with a plane ride. At the age of three months, on May 21, 1986, I flew from Incheon to Chicago O’Hare via Northwest Airlines to be with my “forever” family.
I love watching the video of my arrival and seeing all of my family members gathered in the terminal. My mom often tells the story about how they couldn’t figure out why I was crying so much when they put a sweater on me, until they finally realized that I already had three layers of clothing underneath and was burning up!
Needless to say, my traveling fashion has evolved since that fateful day. As the daughter of an airline employee, and having lived away from home for several years, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in airports. (Usually traveling standby, dashing from gate to gate, hoping and praying to make it on the next flight)
Although being stranded and wondering when/if you will get to your destination are terrible feelings, a part of me actually loves killing time in airports. There are people who bury themselves in a magazine or drown out the world with their earbuds, iPod, and/or laptop, but my favorite thing to do is people watch. (Also, I don’t like to use up the battery on my electrical gadgets before the plane ride, and there are usually other people hogging the terminal power outlets)
The airport terminal is like a fashion runway. Businessmen dress in tailored suits, women roll their Louis Vuitton luggage suitcases, and I sit back and wonder where each person is going. What is their story? Are they flying to reunite with their long-distance significant other? Running away from the past and starting fresh in a new city? (I’ve done both!)
If there is one lesson I have learned through years of standby travel it is to be prepared for the unexpected. You never know when a storm will shut down the runway, a mechanical issue will render the remaining flights of the day canceled, or you will end up spending the night in Fort Wayne, Indiana on your way from Chicago to Dallas. (At least they have free wi-fi)
Standby travel often meant that our bags would arrive at the destination before us (or not at all), so my Dad got us in the habit of not checking baggage. With the new regulations about liquids, this is NOT an option for me anymore haha. But I still think of my dad’s warnings and always pack my carry-on luggage carefully in case I have to live out of it for a few days.
With two upcoming trips planned for this year (One to Dubai with my family, and another to St. Lucia with my in-laws), I decided to splurge on a new overnight bag. This gorgeous vegan leather Sole Society ‘Lacie’ Duffle Bag was everything that I wanted in a weekender. The neutral color will match any airplane outfit, it’s made out of animal-friendly PU material, and so roomy! It can easily fit my electronics, toiletries, a few outfits, and a pair of extra shoes. The smaller version ‘Cassidy‘ also comes in an array of colors.
I cannot wait to use the bag on my next trip. Dubai isn’t until March, and I’ve got a serious case of wanderlust… may just have to plan a little road trip before then to test her out.
What fun travel destinations are you visiting this year? Any packing tips to share?
“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” (Matthew Karsten)