I'm happy to have my cousin Beth guest posting again! She has been to a number of countries and has even worn out suitcases with her travels.
Our trip to Vancouver
Beth lived in Sao Paolo, Brazil for 6 years and is fluent in Portuguese. To name a few, Beth has travelled to South Africa, New York, Chicago, and recently, Vancouver with Anthony and me. Today, she gives 4 tips that I found incredibly helpful.
Hello. My name is Beth and I’m a travel addict.
Phew! So relieved to get that off my chest.
In all seriousness though, I really do love to travel! I love packing. I love figuring out the best way to fold my clothes so that I can squeeze that extra pair of pants in. I love airports. I even like most airplane food (I get it, I’m a freak) and I have a folder on my computer strictly dedicated to travel quotes that I frequently read and re-read. Unfortunately, I am not the most organized of persons (just ask my amazingly organized cousin, Malisa). I tend to be a bit scatterbrained, forgetful and I often throw things together at the last minute.
Having said that, let me share a few tips that I think are essential to any long or short-term trip:
1. If travelling overseas, make sure that all your documents are in order (visa, passport, etc). This may seem like a no-brainer but I know someone who once forgot to check the expiration date on her visa and was held up for quite some time in the wet, wintery city of Chicago, en-route to Brazil. (Ok, ok…it was me!)
Jason (my brother), Heather (my cousin), Charity (my cousin) & Me in Brazil
2. If you are staying for longer than a couple weeks in a place, live accordingly! It’s easy to get into vacation spending mode but make sure that you save money for the end of your trip as well. Somehow, money always seems to disappear more quickly in the latter days of travelling!
Capetown, South Africa
3. It’s great to plan ahead and have a list of places you’d like to see or things you would like to do. However, try to leave ample time for spontaneity to occur! The best memories that I have of vacations or trips always involve the unplanned. If it is a place where you have access to public transportation, take advantage of it. You will learn more about a city or country by being around its people. In regards to people, can I just go off on a mini-tangent here? Human interaction is such an incredible thing. The fact that we can board a plane and be somewhere else with a completely different culture or language in just a few hours is mind-blowing to me. When travelling, be careful not to overlook people for places! I like to ask God to make every interaction I have with someone a meaningful one.
If being spontaneous is not your thing… well then, you need to live a bit more. Haha! Seriously though, the unexpected can often be amazing.
4. Lastly, as cliché as it sounds, don’t stress! If things aren’t going as you planned, assume that God has something better in store. Smile and breathe a prayer of thanks that you are able to see just a bit more of this incredible, colorful world that we live in.