10 things I realized I’m grateful for ten days before a month-long getaway

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When your’e planing for a getaway, it’s easy to think about the things you’ll be leaving behind, and especially the things that stress you out.

But, as I am sitting here planning, I am in disbelief due to the fact that in a little over a week, I will be going on my month-long journey half way around the world. I couldn’t help but think about all the things that went right in life up to this point.

I am one lucky individual. Who in their early twenties can say they’re going to travel the world with their best friends? In lieu of the journey I will be going on in just ten days, I have decided to dedicate this first blog post to that.

Here are the 10 things I am super grateful for:

1.Unemployment

Thank you, to all the companies who have decided to NOT hire me. Sure as someone who graduated a little over a year ago I should be devastated that I haven’t found a salary-paying job… but I’m not. Right now, in this moment, I have never been more content with not having a 9-5, or 10-6, or whatever corporate demands there are.

Unemployment has given me the opportunity to plan one of the biggest and best trips of a lifetime. I mean when else would I have an opportunity to do something like this again?

2. Cool ass parents

I really owe a lot of this luck to my parents, who have been supportive of everything I do. From choosing a major they knew I would not make any money in (hello, journalism) to being as excited as I am about this trip, I realized my parents are actually really cool.

The best part is that they haven’t kicked me out of the house or even asked me to pay rent, and that’s how I’m ultimately able to fund this trip. If that’s not real love and support, then I don’t know what is.

3. Journalism

Honestly, I love journalism. It’s such a cool major that opened my eyes to a lot of the things in this world. From politics, to travel, to food—the list goes on. Through this major I morphed into someone who is looking for answers, for information, and even for adventures.

I have become an expert at finding out information, figured out the best formulas for cold emails, and ultimately, I’ve become someone who’s not afraid to ask question. Seriously, like any types of questions like, “Can we get a group price for that?” or “Can you give us something better?” For some people, these might be silly questions that they won’t mind asking, but believe it or not, there are many others who are afraid to even ask any questions.

4. The Internet

Nothing I have planned would have been possible if the internet did not exist. It’s the little things we take granted for that we really need to appreciate. From Pinterest to even TripAdvisor, these websites are really a life and money saver. I mean, how else would I have known about the “22 Beautiful Hidden Natural Attractions in Bali.”

5. Friendly people

Born and raised as a New Yorker, I have a mentality that we live in a dog-eat-dog world. But, I am in fact wrong. After having spoken to quite a few people on the interweb, emailing people about bookings and reservations, I found that people are actually not that bad.

Even in the world of tourism, where almost everything in a city is calculated to take money away from you, I found the light. I found people who were willing to help and not take advantage of little o me and my friends. Tour guides were willing to lower prices and even Instagram friends whom I never met were willing to create itineraries for me!

Sometimes you just need a little honey to sweeten them up… and other times you don’t!

6. Good currency exchange rates

One of the perks of vacationing in a third world country is the currency exchange rates. I know, it sounds terrible, but it’s a really good thing for my budget. If prices were the same or more as they are in the U.S., people wouldn’t be visiting these places as often as they do now even if there’s so much beauty in them.

In places like Thailand and Bali, I will be living like a queen. I couldn’t be more excited.

7. Travel writers & websites

Thank you travel bloggers, columnists, reporters, and especially photographers. You guys are awesome. You guys are the people who make places desirable. I like to call that my keen eye for beautiful things, but I’m really just a sucker for a nicely photographed picture.

So, thank you Nat Geo photographers, bloggers like Nomadic Matt who has made traveling on a budget a thousand times easier.

8. Airbnb & Hostel World

I am so grateful for technology and all the wonderful websites/ apps that have been created within the last five years. Traveling on a budget has been a whole lot easier especially when I don’t have to worry about a living situation in a third world country.

With websites like Airbnb and Hostel World, I get to see reviews from other travelers and get an understanding of the living situations I will be put in.

9. Destinations that don’t require Visas

As a US citizen, traveling is so much easier. I can visit so many countries without having to get expensive visas nor do I have to worry about them not granting me admission. It has also been a complete money saver. For places like Thailand and Bali, you get a visa once you land most of the time if you have a US passport so I am entirely grateful for that.

10. Friends to travel with

The last thing I’m grateful for is also something I appreciate most: my friends who are down to travel.

When I first started planning for this trip, I really wanted to dedicate it to finding myself and being alone. It’s some quarter life Eat, Pray, Love shit.

Though traveling alone and discovering things alone seem exciting and romantic, I can see it not being like that for me. I saw the loneliness more and more as my friends were filling Google spreadsheets with fun activities. I saw the sadness when I thought about hiking up a volcano all by myself and no one to share the beauty with. I saw it when we sat together to book Airbnbs, I realized that I would’ve lived in dumps without them.

It also means a lot that they took the time and money for this trip. Though prices are low and things are cheap, this trip for them easily costs $1,500, if not more. Experiences are truly invaluable, and I know that we’ll be making memories that are priceless on this trip. Thanks again, my #Fab4, for embarking on this crazy adventure with me.

Take a seat, this is going to be one helluva joyride!

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