life lessons learned traveling, part i

by Holly on November 30, 2010

in happiness,travel

In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, “Traveling is the great true love of my life.”

Yeah, I’m 25 and single, but I have a feeling that even when I do find myself a manly man to call my own, he will still pale in comparison to the thought of sand surfing the Siwa Oasis in Egypt or bargain shopping the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

I love the adventure. I love the excitement. I love immersing myself in completely new cultures. I love learning inappropriate terms like “bucket box.” I love taste testing new cuisines. I love the people I meet. Most of all, I love the lessons I learn about myself and about life in the process.

Out of all the places I’ve traveled, I have to say the month I spent in Australia was the funnest of them all. I went with one of my best friends, Diana. We spent half the time volunteering on an environmental restoration project. We spent the other half traveling the eastern coast doing crazy, adventurous and hilariously silly things.

Most importantly, we learned.


Friends who will bow down to you, make sure you don’t do anything stupid on a party bus and are still friends with you after two 20+ hour flights are worth keeping around.

Wrapping a tree to a truck with a plethora of saran wrap makes for a great practical joke.

Covering up a hickey from an Australian cabinetmaker named Bobby O’Brien will cost you an $18 AUD red pashmina from Paddington Market.

The scariest things in life are often the ones most worth doing.

Witnessing something much larger than yourself is humbling, inspiring and just plain cool.

Monkeying around is a necessary part of life, no matter how old you are.

Your name doesn’t have to be Victoria, and you don’t have to have a secret to work what you got.

The key to contentment is inhaling, exhaling and simply taking in the moment.

Doing things you love is worth the money, planning, dedication, attention and time you put into them…and keep putting into them.

What are YOU passionate about?


Don’t forget to donate and help Brandi + I raise money for Jovenes en Camino, an orphanage in Honduras for abused, homeless and orphaned children. Tis’ the season!

Also, you have until Thursday to enter my giveaway for a Flip UltraHD video cam!


Danielle November 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm

All of the above! Ditto, ditto, ditto to everything you said. I live so that I may travel. And, you know, do other amazing things like eat good food, drink good wine, and have good conversation with great people. You can stick a bit o’ quality yoga and books in there too.

Love you, and sincerely wish you had a brother ;)

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Going to Australia is one of my biggest dreams. My Husband hates traveling to places that are “historical” – while I could have a field day. Rome, Paris, Barcelona? Drop me off and I”ll see you in a couple of weeks.q

Amber November 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

My husband and I would like to someday get a motor home and eat our way across the country. Doesn’t that sound like heaven. Someday it will happen :)

Madeline - Greens and Jeans November 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Can we PULEASEEEEEE take a magical journey together soon?

Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

You’ve had some really, really amazing adventures. Ones that I definitely wish to have myself one day. :)

Matt November 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm

You. Are. Awesome.

Lorna November 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Not only do I bow to you for jumping out of a plane, and getting hickies from cabinet makers, but for knowing how to tie the pashmina in that chic way I’ve yet to master, to cover said hickie. Fabulous post :)

sofia November 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

i love that i know so many people who are as passionate about travel as you. unfortunately, i never caught the travel bug but waaaant to. does that not make sense? probably. part of the issue is i am po’ ass broke and have no one to travel with (the BF works too much, all my friends are doing wayyy too many things, etc. etc.). I guess the answer is to go at it alone? sigh. one day…

Um, I love that picture of you by the water in all your curly glory. Yeah, I’m weird. Deal. And having friends that will watch your be-hind on a party bus are the kinds you keep. That’s the ultimate test, I’d say.

What am I passionate about? Hmm. Well, besides food and fitness, I’d say I love working one-on-one with people, learning their life stories, and in the process helping them to be at peace with who they are and where they want to and think they can or will be in the future. I guess that’s why I’m getting my master’s in social work? Yeah, I like people and their problems. Sounds odd, but it works for me.

Cherie November 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Little do you know, that I love reading your blog. I love that as long as I have known you, you haven’t changed. I love that about you. :)

Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches November 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

You rock my world. Honestly. I really want to go skydiving one of these days…I’ve been bungee jumping, and skydiving looks like even more fun! Your pics make it look so amazingly awesome. Also, I happen to be going to Australia in the spring. Wanna hook me up with the number of this Bobby O’Brien character? Lol!

K - Anywhere There's An Airport November 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I love this post. It reminds me to embrace the scary part of my adventure – to be okay with the homesick – and to remember the opportunity I have been given. I AM truly the luckiest! Thank you for the reminder. I fly back on Thursday… and I am really looking forward to my European home again :)

Angharad November 30, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Err…travel. Just finished booking all our accommodation in Nicaragua and I might burst with excitement. You get it. Lovely post my sweet, dear

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm

traveling teaches us so much about OURSELVES! how we react to stress, new things, amazing things, the random crap that always ends up happening out of no where when traveling…some good, some bad, some downright awful or amazing…the lessons we learn about what makes us tick is such a gift of travel!

love this post :)

Amelia Fraser November 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

This is great! It reminds me of my fav quote: “The best things in life aren’t things.”
Traveling is my passion too!

Amanda (Eating Up) November 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I’m passionate about trying new things with the people I love. I hope to find someone who thinks of life the same way as I do: as an adventure!

Katie November 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Curses on graduate school for ruining my travel plans! I love everything about it, but especially the being thrown out of your comfort zone and just winging every moment. So freeing and so FUN!

claire December 1, 2010 at 12:06 am

Like you and miss danielle, who left the first comment…I adore traveling and live for it! I wish I’ve had more time for it these past few years since college! I also love running, good food, time with friends, yoga, reading…and more.

Kaley December 1, 2010 at 12:58 am

I’m not so much passionate about traveling anywhere, but I am passionate about Spain: its people, its culture, its cuisine, its WINE (ahem). My boyfriend is Spanish and that has definitely played a big role in my passion.

Thanks for this reminder. Honestly, I’m going through a rather difficult time here, due to a crappy apartment, bad heating, and a long commute, but your post and the comments reminded me of my passion. LOVE.

Diana December 1, 2010 at 2:56 am

Ahhhhhhhh!!! What an incredible post! Such an honor! Although, I find a bit of fault with your journalistic integrity, for I’m afraid you left out some key events – a little lesson in flirtini’s, Muddy Rat, the RTBC, Sonny the white water rafting instructor, Gazzer, aboriginal cultural performances (“proud to be, aborigini”), Australian hamburger toppings, Garbage bag costume competitions, “A little story, ’bout Holly and Diana, two America girls growin’ up in the heart land…”, negotiating at a movie rental store to let us “rent” Sister Act… forever, Bruce being arrested for stealing lollies and cheese, Frederick Andrew Richard Hill, Suzy on the side… I could go on forever!! It was an extraordinarily superb adventure! I love, love, LOVE you!! Thanks for the wonderful reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to have a friend like you :) Holly, you are SENSATIONAL!

Lauren December 1, 2010 at 5:55 am

Traveling is such a passion but I only wish I had the time and money to pursue this passion more. I often envision myself taking a year off to just spend in Europe. This is a dream and I hope to one day make it a reality.

Erica December 1, 2010 at 6:15 am

Fabulous pictures. I’ve totally always wanted to try sky diving.

Teri [a foodie stays fit] December 1, 2010 at 7:31 am

oh this gave me chills. I want to travel with you. Travelling makes me feel so ALIVE.

brandi December 1, 2010 at 8:01 am

I love this, Holly. I love that you’re so passionate about travel and have so much to share :) There are still hundreds of places I want to visit in my lifetime.

Lately, my passions:
my new nephew
family time
reading and writing
brainstorming decorating ideas for our new home
raising money for Jovenes with YOU, friend :)

Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries December 1, 2010 at 11:21 am

LOVED this post! I am actually spending next semester studying abroad in Sydney, Australia… I’m going completely alone and am terrified! And excited too, of course. I might have to chat with you about fun things to do in Australia! :)

Sami December 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

the adventurous loveable everythintarian does it again.

girl, your posts always put a smile on my face.

we did something similar to my cousin and bestie on her wedding day (saran wrapped her car after the reception) before they could leave for their honeymoon because the groom was super anxious to get there, if you know what i mean ;)

Jamie December 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm

This makes me happy =)

jen December 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm

What a great post!!!


julie December 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm

i want to travelllllllllllllllllllll and yes i’m whining. it’s allowed. i can’t believe how brave you are!! if i had money i would make my job traveling. hence why i’m on the hunt for a rich man who can make my job traveling ;)

Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run December 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I love traveling. I always surprise myself by how “go with the flow” I am about stuff when traveling. I’m super type A normally, but when crap happens on the road, I just let it slide. I guess that’s kind of the point – to learn something about yourself you never knew!

I am passionate about reading, my family, my friends and my health!! To name just a few. :-)

Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover December 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

How amazing, Holly!
I loved this pictures, I loved this post.
Just… brilliant!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete December 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I love, love, love this post! It is so true about long traveling times and friends. I swear, I thought I was going to kill the person next to me so many times after 36 hours of traveling to visit home from Germany.

I do things that scare the crap out of me all the time. I’m glad you are the same way b/c when we meet, we will have to do something scary together!! haha, that totally sounds stalkeresk! Honestly, those are the moments when we learn what we are made of.

Hope all is well!!!

Special K December 2, 2010 at 5:21 am

Stay Tuned for my REVIEW of SHOPPPPPPPING IN THE GRAND BAZAR IN ISTANBUL! Yep, that’s where I was 5 days ago!

Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans December 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I love this post. It makes me want to grab my passport, head to the airport and go!

elise December 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm

i just got my vacation time verified, so spain is on. so now, if you are up for the craziness of a dieden family vacay, you should really try and meet up. im going to be there for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of may. otherwise, buy a flight to santa monica for some time in spring. sure, we only “met” in real life a month ago, but i seriously miss you so much! how creepy is that?

Wayne Brown March 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

Holly, thanks for the post. You mentioned Egypt and Istanbul, I’ve been to both place and had great time in each. Thus far I have been to 22 countries. I haven’t been to Australia yet, but it’s on my list. Best in your travels!

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: