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Hi reader! I’m Sarah. I’m 26 years old. I’m an ICU nurse with unmanageable, wild curly hair and an insatiable curiosity about the world. My highschool-sweetheart-turned-husband (and built in travel buddy) and I come from small town South Carolina, and made our way down to Charleston for college and thereafter. We found ourselves calling the low country our home, but after feeling like we needed to see what else is out there, we decided we wanted to wander a little. So we took a huge leap of faith and found ourselves landing in Raleigh, North Carolina. But, for now, that’s enough about me. I have a question for you!

Have you ever wanted to step completely and totally out of your comfort zone? 

My then boyfriend, Cody, and I had pondered this question many times before together. And this held true as we, as silly as this sounds, boarded a cruise ship in 2011 to The Bahamas. We thought this was like, a big freaking deal. And at 20 years old, this was something we were experiencing together. Even more of a big freaking deal. I expected to have a great time. I expected to see some colorful fish and crystal clear waters while snorkeling. I expected to eat some good seafood. What I didn’t expect from that trip, was to fall in love with travel.

 

I’ve always had a curiosity about the world- other cultures, food, cities, and ideas fascinate me. But as someone who grew up with travel extending not far beyond beach vacations on the South Carolina coast, I never even really considered that I could explore my curiosities!

More often than not, people who regularly travel are always either absolutely loaded or absolutely sponsored. You’ve got your rich kids of Instagram, yachting in Monaco for the summer, and then you have seemingly normal girl who “dropped it all to blog and travel full time.” And that’s totally cool for you and all to have that opportunity. I mean seriously all THE JEALOUSY here. But like…rly? That’s not relatable. That’s not real. Regular small town girl from South Carolina isn’t going to be diving in St. Maarten for two weeks, then staying in luxury hotels across Europe, then backpacking across southeast Asia, always by SOME coincidence having an perfect entourage of perfect photographers to create perfect ~*~*~Instagram wanderlust. So it just seemed unattainable to me, just a dream for my Pinterest board. Just as it does for lots of people who see these pages and assume they could never go to faraway places and lead a “normal” life.

A “normal” life and travel life don’t normally coincide. Partly because yes, it’s hard to plan trips and have responsibilities and obligations. Like, really freaking hard. But also because in Travel BlogLand, working a 9-5, paying the bills, and planning trips around it just isn’t that sexy of a story. But for most of us, if you want to be able to have money to go the places and do the things, you need to have that 9-5 life. That stability. And honestly, what’s wrong with wanting both?

dreary day in dingle ireland

I want to share my life with my husband. I want to have pets, and have a job that I love with a consistent income, and a place to call my home. But there’s a part of us that doesn’t want or need to have every part of the American Dream right now. There’s a part of us that wants to see, that wants to wander.

We want to walk among the rice terraces in Bali. We want to hike the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu. We want to drive cross country across Ireland. We want to drink wine in Mendoza. And y’know what else? We want to look out on New York City from the Top of the Rock, because travel within your home country is just as cool, eye opening, and life changing as international travel!

I’m here to tell you travel can be wherever and however is meaningful to you. I’m here to show you that you can live a life of exploration while still living a life of normalcy too. It’s okay to want both! And it really is doable to have both! Sure, we have to budget more. Our travels are spread out farther than someone who does this for a living. But we do it. Because we make a conscious decision everyday to make travel a priority in our lives. Because we want this. Together. And that makes trips that much sweeter.

I am addicted to researching the crap out of my destination, the feeling of stepping off a plane, immersing myself in unfamiliar surroundings, and having absolutely no idea where I am. Travel can be rugged and travel and be glamorous. I love every aspect of the spectrum in between! There’s nothing like pounding the pavement through city streets or a long day of hiking unfamiliar territory, and returning back to luxury accommodations. An “is this real life?” experience all around, if you will.

At 23 years old, months before our wedding, Cody and I sat down one night and we made a list. We talked about Peru and hiking Machu Picchu, something we’ve talked about for a long time. We talked about Japan, because C wants to see Tokyo. We talked about Africa, because a medical mission is one thing I am dying to do. We talked about Italy, and everywhere in between! We talked about places we wanted to be thrown from our comfort zone, foods we wanted to eat but couldn’t pronounce, cultures we wanted to experience, and things we wanted to do. I love the people we have grown to be, together. I love that I married a man with such an open mind and an even bigger open heart. I love that fuzzy feeling you get when you realize that two peoples dreams completely coincide. And I LOVE that my other half has just as bad of a desire to see the world–I can’t wait to see where life takes my built in travel buddy and I!

Come along with me on our journey to see the world! I hope it inspires you to do the same 🙂

-Sarah

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