WARNING: I’m about to make a political statement for which I do not apologize. I love my country and my freedom, and I’m incredibly proud to live here in the United States. I’m also beyond grateful for our servicemen and women who have allowed me the opportunity to do so.
Did you know that November is National Entrepreneurship Month? I’ve always had a heart for entrepreneurship. I even have a degree in it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to run my own business. I know you’re thinking “Well, that’s nice, but what does that have to do with traveling?” Ooo…great question! Allow me to explain.
Just off Hwy 59 in East Texas, only 15 miles from Marshall and miles away from ordinary, lies the impressive little town of Jefferson, Texas. If you’ve never been, you’re not alone. I’ve lived in Texas for most of my life, and I’ve never even heard of Jefferson. Thanks to the good folks there, I was recently invited to join them for a couple of days to explore all this tiny town has to offer.
One of the obstacles to traveling I often hear is how difficult it can be to plan a trip and how choosing the destination can be the hardest part. If you desire to travel (or love it like I do), you probably have a bucket list of destinations and prioritizing them can be tricky. So, why not pair an epic event with your travels and let the event help you plan your next trip? By doing so, you focus less on the location and more on the experiences to be had there.
It’s been a while since I posted, and here’s why: I nearly died in Montana. No, it didn’t involve the usual suspects (bears, bison, climbing stairs) and yes, I’m being overly dramatic. But, I did get super sick, and I never saw it coming. In fact, I had an easy breezy flight into Billings, took the picture above, made my merry way to my rental car, reveled in the cooler temps, and then headed to MoAV, a hip little coffee shop tucked away downtown, before heading out to my first destination, a secluded ranch surrounded by miles of rolling hills, cattle, and fossils.
This morning I flew from Houston to Billings, Montana. As I sat in my window seat and looked out over the incredible Wyoming terrain below, I reflected on how easy my trip had been so far. Even though it had been an early morning (pre-5am alarm) and I was half asleep through it all, none of the morning had been memorable and, when dealing with airports and flights, that’s a great thing.
About a thousand years ago, my dear friend, Molly, gave me the pretty little necklace pictured above. At the time, the expression “Dream Big” was new to the world of inspirational everythings. You couldn’t find it on file folders, fridge magnets, and baby décor like you can today. I fell in love with it instantly.
Since naming my business and committing to make it my new life and career, I’ve been obsessed with creating my professional and personal manifesto. I have hundreds of bullet-pointed lists of ideas, goals, and reasons for pursuing my passion of all-things-travel. (I have a freakish love of lists, by the way. I get it from my mom. Add fun paper, and I love them even more.)
However, it has taken months of contemplation and writing to realize what I already knew. While I find absolute joy in travel (as so many of us do), so many people don’t (and I’m not talking about the people who just don’t enjoy traveling). I’m talking about the people who don’t enjoy it because they’ve never done it. For whatever reason, whether they think they can’t afford it, or they think it’s not safe, or they simply don’t know how to take that first trip, these non-travelers need to know they can do it!
So, that’s my goal. I simply want to help people find joy and confidence in travel. I want to inspire people to take the first step in making it happen (my personal travel motto). Have the conversation, make the plan, book the flight, and make it happen.
(Update! The manifesto is complete. Check it out here.)
Some of the questions and comments I hear most about the traveling process have to do with packing. (These are second to the moans and groans about booking a flight which, in my mind, is the biggest mental challenge in the world of travel. I’ll delve into that another day.) Unless you’re a true nomad and live only out of a suitcase, there’s no way around it, you have to pack for your trips. However, it’s doesn’t have to be grueling or stressful. And, like booking a flight, once it’s done, you’re mentally free to focus on the other aspects of your journey.
After a lifetime of traveling, both last-minute work trips and long-planned vacations, I’ve learned there’s a simple packing process that helps relieve pre-trip stress.
I credit my frustration with corporate life and my beloved Boston Terrier, Percy, with naming my blog. For years, I had been tired of my corporate job. One day, about two years ago, I’d had a particularly rough day at the office. So, when I got home, Percy and I harnessed up and headed out for a walk. As we sauntered along in our usual way, it began to rain (totally par for the course for that day). While the rain fell and we walked on, I thought about my life. I was pretty miserable. I’d been miserable for a while. I needed to get away. Perhaps a vacation would help?
Hi, I'm Brooke. I travel the world at every opportunity, and I hope to help you do the same. I offer travel tips and insights from a real world, every day perspective. Read more about me and my vision for Happy Tracks here.