Traveling is one of the best adventures you can embark on. The idea of being in a brand new place and experiencing it for the first time is a feeling you only get once. I have been to Texas in the past and I love it there. What I haven't done is explore the cities I've visited. Doesn't make much sense does it? Quick history...I have family that lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I visited them for the first time when I was 2. I have no memory of that but there is an awfully embarrassing video of me falling like a drunk baby on a trampoline. I visited for the second time when I was 11 and immediately fell in love. I went back when I was 19, life got in the way and I didn't return till the fall of 2014 when I was miserable with where my life had taken me. It was then that I made the decision to visit annually. So this fall when I took a two week trip to visit family, I also made an itinerary for several of the days I was there to explore both Dallas and Fort Worth and see what they had to offer.
To say I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago is the understatement of the century. I'm in a career that I absolutely love, I'm creating attainable goals that I'm actually excited to work on and I'm genuinely a happier person. So planning this last trip was much different than any I had planned before. I wanted to get to the heart of the cities and insert myself into daily life. I felt that I had so much time to get what I wanted done but that, my friends, is a terrible misconception.
Something people don't tell you about traveling is that you have much less time than you realize. For example, if you plan to visit three restaurants in one day but breakfast is enormous, lunch gets skipped. If you plan to work in two coffee shops and plan little adventures in between, chances are one is going to get skipped or the adventures are going to get passed up. The fact is, you will be to busy enjoying yourself in the moment to stick to an itinerary unless you have some cranky group leader pushing you on. And that is OK!
One thing I love are schedules. I love routines, I love organization and I love to have a plan. If I'm going to travel as much as I want to, I'm going to have to let go of that a bit though. Texas taught me this. Maybe it's my amazing family down there or maybe it's just the people in general but I wanted to just enjoy everything in the moment and do things spontaneously. I feel like my experience was made ten times better by letting go of my type-A personality and just being. Thinking back on it now, I'm glad I had that experience.
It's a great things to think about as one year ends and another begins. We could all use being a little bit more present. Life is too short and sometimes we get too caught up in the big picture or the little tasks at hand to really enjoy the experience. With that said, one of my goals in 2016 is to let go of the little things and be more present. I want to stop at least once every day and appreciate whatever it is I'm doing in the moment whether it's a hard workout or nibbling on a piece of cheesecake. If this is the first lesson travel has taught me, bring on the rest. I'm ready!