What Sparked My Interest In Traveling
I wish I had some life-changing story to share but I discovered my love for travel in the most cliche way possible. I studied abroad in Spain and my life changed forever :) After being immersed in such an exciting culture, I realized how much more there is to life. Since then, I simply wanted to see more and more of this beautiful planet. I keep on traveling because each trip not only teaches me something new about this world but also about myself. I enjoy meeting different people, learning about new cultures, tasting new foods, and seeing beautiful places. Travel also puts things in perspective once you see the more difficult parts of people’s realities. It makes you a more understanding, compassionate, and just overall better human being.
Duration Of My Trips
Due to my full-time career, my travels are generally on the shorter side and range between weekend getaways to about 3-week vacations. My lifetime goal is to see most of this planet so I see traveling more so as a marathon, not a race.
How I Decide Where To Go Next
I actually choose my destination somewhat at random but I do have a general idea of what I would like to see next. My travel dates are planned around my work time off so I look for flight deals to locations I am interested in, take into consideration the current season and just the overall budget. I try to alternate types of my destinations from city to nature to full-on relaxation. Once I decide where to go, I have a meticulous process of how I plan it which I wrote about recently on my blog.
Countries I Have Visited So Far & My Bucket List
I have traveled to 22 countries so far and hope to see 2 more by the end of the year! My most remarkable adventure was a 3 week trip throughout Bolivia.
I slept in freezing temperatures in the middle of the Bolivian Salt Flats, biked the most dangerous road in the world, got lost in La Paz, enjoyed the tranquil vibe of Sucre, slept on an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca and saw a completely different side of the country in Santa Cruz. It was one of the most remarkable adventures to date. Not only was the country one of the most beautiful sights I have seen but the people were just incredible! My current bucket list is to see Southeast Asia as I have not been to that side of the world yet.
My Favorite Memory Of Exploring With Locals
On a recent adventure to the Dominican Republic, I met a fellow traveler while doing some cliff diving at the 27 Waterfalls. We instantly bonded and made a plan that day to meet up somewhere in the world. 6 months later I was hopping throughout Europe and my new friend was enjoying Paris. Our travel logistics weren’t lining up so she took a 20-hour bus from Paris to Budapest to meet me! It was so awesome to have another adventure with someone who I met on the road. It also shows you that can easily make things happen if you’re on the same page about traveling!
Why I Started Blogging
Anyone that has traveled with me can easily tell you that they didn’t have to lift a finger as I always planned everything out to the T. After years of numerous trips, I had a Google Drive with tons of resources that I would share with friends and family for their own travels. One day I woke up and decided to channel my creativity and skill into Perfect Day Somewhere, my travel blog of 3 years.
Not everyone likes planning and for some, it even stops them from traveling. Others hire expensive travel agents to do it for them. After doing the research and experiencing the area I’m in, I hone out the details and create what I believe (in my humble opinion) is the perfect itinerary for your day, somewhere in this beautiful world! By sharing my free itineraries, I hope to save my readers from the stress of planning a trip and show them cool places I found on my travels!
How I Juggle Between Work & Travel
I plan in advance! I make sure to save enough days off and plan around holidays that give me additional “free” time. Since I work full-time when I am not traveling, the separation between the two is easy for me. When I work I work, when I travel I travel. My blog is written in the mornings or evenings in between travels.
Some Challenges I've Faced Through Travel
A major challenge for me is seeing the more difficult parts of travel like lack of basic resources, homelessness, or begging children. It makes me feel guilty for having the privilege to travel and being helpless in the situation. While I always hope that my tourist spending's help the local economy, we know that’s often not the case. As far as safety, I always make sure to check the crime statistics, google common scams, not go out late if I am solo traveling, not post locations in real-time, stay close to the city center and take shared rides or public transport. Being well-informed is a must before going to a new destination.
How I Think GAFFL Can Help Solo Travelers
GAFFL has a wonderful platform that connects like-minded individuals who wish to experience the same destination! Solo travel is awesome but there are times when you simply want to share the experience with another human being! As a frequent solo traveler, I could tell you that GAFFL is the perfect solution.
As far as my favorite tools for planning, I mostly rely on other travel blogs to help me plan itineraries. While on the road I use Airline apps to make my check-ins quick and easy, Google Maps to navigate and research places of interest, Booking/Hostelworld/Airbnb for my accommodations, Airalo for my e-sims, and Bolt/Uber for transport.
My Most Exciting Travel Experience
It’s really hard to name one travel experience that stands out because they’re all special in one way or another to me but I’d say climbing Rainbow Mountain in Peru with my best friend has to be one of these moments that is most exciting from my travels. When we signed up for the excursion, we didn’t know what to expect. The 17k foot elevation challenged us physically and mentally in a way I never experienced before. It was a very memorable experience once we got to the top and after achieving that, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to!
My Advice To Travelers
It is much easier than you think! Although 2 or 3 weeks a year of Paid Time Off might not sound like much time to a lot of people, if you’re smart with planning, you can stretch that out to about 4 weeks. For example: on holidays like Memorial Day or July 4th or Labor Day, most people get a long weekend with a Monday off. What you can easily do is fly out the preceding Friday and come back that holiday night or even the following morning. Now your 5 days off turns into a 9-10 day vacation. You repeat that throughout the year and get 3 long vacations with a full-time job. And of course short getaways in between.
Things I Wish I’d Known When I First Started Traveling
That you cannot control anything and despite the amount of prior planning, sh*t will still go wrong! It’s better to accept things on the road as they come than to ruin your vacation and worry! No planning in the world can save you from, for example, getting robbed, getting your rental car broken into, or having your South America flight canceled for another 4 days (yes, that has all happened to me). You have two choices: let it ruin your trip, or roll with the punches and make the most of what you have left. I will say though, you should always research answers to horror scenarios before your trip so you’re best equipped to deal with the stress. Oh, and travel insurance has saved my ass numerous times on the road!
Other uplifting stories worth checking out!