For me, traveling is one of the ultimate forms of self-care and, if possible, I like to end one trip by planning another. Whether it’s a car ride to a neighboring state or a flight across the ocean, there’s truly nothing like escaping the familiarity of your town and exploring a new destination.
Since June marks the halfway point of the year, I think it’s perfect timing to reflect on journeys taken thus far and think about exploration goals for the next 6 months because, as I’ve mentioned with fitness, planning is equally as important as the actual execution.
One of the benefits of living in Philly is that many other major cities are just a hop, skip and jump away. Take an hour and a half train ride north and you’re standing in Times Square. Want to go the opposite direction? A 2 hour trip down 95 south and you’re in the Smithsonian courtyard; the possibilities (and opportunities for day trips) are endless. It’s awesome for a quick sense of novelty, but this year I’ve wanted to focus my travel on quality over quantity and thus less day trips twice a month and more extensive voyages every 3 or so months.
Following that logic, the two excursions I’ve taken so far in 2017 were to Los Angeles, California and Paris, France; both vastly different in terms of experience, but each serving a necessary purpose.
Los Angeles - Having lived in LA for school, visiting always feels as much like going home as it does an escape. However, February’s visit was great in that it allowed me to reunite with friends who are still residing there as well as do things that bring about a comforting nostalgia. Shopping at the Grove, eating the most amazing rotisserie chicken at Larchmont Village Farmers Market, Bottega. Louie. Macarons. (which could easily be a post of their own) -- just so many things that make feel at peace. Not to mention, it never hurts to escape February east coast winter for 70 degrees and sunny SoCal.
Paris - Paris is one of those places that allows you to feel its energy as soon as you exit Orly Airport. While in London last year, I took a day trip to the city of love and knew immediately that I wanted to return for a longer stay. It’s stunning, beautiful, and intimating (especially if you’re like me and don’t speak French) in the best of ways. Everything about Paris was foreign; from the language to the food to the customs, but embracing those differences was the type of challenge that gives you the opportunity to learn and grow. My one week visit was all around incomparable and I can’t imagine celebrating my 27th birthday in a more magical way.
I did a ton of planning for that amazing trip though, and with it behind me, I want to put international travel on the back burner for the moment. For the next few months I feel like I need to start exploring places and parts of the country that I’ve never really considered going. One thing that stuck out me, before Instagram decimated my beloved photo map, is that the span of my domestic travel has been along the opposing East and West coasts with lots of fly over space in between and it’s something that I want to change.
Thus the next five destinations on my wanderlust wishlist are:
Seattle (and yes - I realize this is the pacific Northwest, but I mean the first Starbucks AND the first Nordstrom?! COME ON!)
…And now that the list is down, it’s time to get planning. What are some of your wanderlust goals?