If you are to regard your thoughts as clouds, you will understand why we are often much happier when there is a blue sky, and the sun is shining.
In a world without a start or finish where do I begin?
Our past was then and perhaps the future keeps us in..
This mysterious game we choose to play
In these delicate seashells made of clay.
Though everything seems so certain until we pull back the curtain
And see that the shadows on the wall were nothing but a reflection
Of our subconscious thoughts hidden behind our complexion.
A tear starts to fall
As we realize our preconceived notions point at nothing at all.
And in this renaissance, we recognize the call
Speaking to us from the echo of the Fall.
This is confusing I know, like trying to find a snowflake buried in the snow.
But until we stop searching we will find
That our essence dances underneath the mind.
In this truth we can rejoice as one,
Shining brightly before our return to the sun.
And after we stop thinking we begin to see
How truly wonderful this life can be.
~ Drake E. Scallon
The urge to travel is nothing short of transcendent. It beckons at the core of our human spirit. There is a reason we hear stories of people throughout history that are known as great explorers; these individuals are true pioneers of the unknown. The human spirit is intimately intertwined with an insatiable appetite for curiosity. The unknown, the unexplored, the mystery - it intrigues us like nothing else can.
Travel is the manifestation of the curiosity that compels so deeply. When exploring a new place, we truly do not know what is around the next corner. It can feel intimidating at first, but it quickly becomes intoxicating. My fondest memories thus far have been taking in new places with some of my best friends by my side (here’s looking at you Justin, Nate, & Jerry).
Travel implies international travel, but from my experience you can most certainly travel within your own country and experience something completely foreign to what we are accustomed. Regardless, traveling provides the opportunity to experience culture and to broaden one’s perspective on life itself. One of my favorite quotes on travel is by the renowned T.S. Eliot:
This is the essence of travel. Once we experience more of what our world offers, we will not view aspects of life the same again. We can never step in the same river twice, as the water we stepped in is ever flowing and we as people will not be the same. There are few things that enrich our souls more than being fulfilled by authentic experiences.
But how can we travel? It’s expensive. Those people on Instagram are not living real life, it’s not realistic. While we may not all be destined for social media stardom (as you can tell from this post, social media is definitely not what traveling is about), anyone and everyone can travel. Seriously.
Here are some ways to travel (cheap too!):
Take a road trip with some friends. Splitting the gas money with your friends makes it super cost effective, which allows you to splurge on some adventurous things. A road trip provides the opportunity for some incredible memories that are as simple as jamming out to everyone’s favorite albums or eating fast food at the only restaurant you have seen for 2 hours. It’s some good, ole fashioned fun. Plus, if you are into camping or hiking, the road trip is the way to go. Drive off into the sunset towards an unexplored public land that we are lucky to have. It’s awesome, it’s challenging. Do it.
If you are looking to travel internationally, fear not there are many ways to make it super affordable. To find cheap flights, all it takes is some flexibility on dates and to get acquainted with your new best friend - Google Flights. You can also subscribe to get cheap flight alerts (I use Scott’s Cheap Flights), and they will send you flight deals from your airport of choice. I went on a 3 week Europe backpacking trip for under $400 roundtrip! Whenever I travel abroad, I rely heavily on hostels and cheap AirBnB’s for living accommodations. To keep on the low budget train, there is nothing like eating some street food and exploring local markets to check out the local cuisine for cheap. I leave you with a challenge in international travel - I challenge you to try to really experience the genuine culture of the country you are in and avoid some of the overly tourist spots.
It is a blast traveling with friends, but if your only opportunity is to travel solo I highly recommend doing it. One time, my friends missed a flight to Berlin so I was by myself for a couple days in Germany while I was waiting for them. I can honestly say it was an absolute blast to get out of my comfort zone and explore on my own, even if it was just for a little bit.
Side note: If you are under 25 and in need of a rental car on your travels, and you can qualify for a basic USAA account, they waive all under 25 fees for the rental. On a 2.5 week road trip, my friends and I got a rental car for under $300!
These were all pretty basic tips, so if you have any specific questions on destinations, want any recommendations, or just want to chat please leave some feedback here on the website and I would love to talk with you!
Traveling the world has never been more accessible, it is up us to take full advantage of the opportunity before us. I bid you the best of luck on all of your adventures and travels. I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite people of all time.
Lorenzo (LJ) Carrillo
P.S. Check out my Instagram (@ljcarrillo) if you want see some of my adventures, and in turn I would love to see yours!
The caves were silent and unmoving. Cold to the touch and dark without us. But our play inside of them brought with it life. Dark and cold turned to radiant and warm.
And when you sleep it dreams with you.
It thumps and pumps for you
When you quarrel,
It shows its teeth and snarls for you
And when you fight its thundering might fights for you
And in life when you trifle it struggles for you.
If others give up,
It’s to their despair, and it will be there for you.
If it breaks,
It can repair, and strengthen you.
If you lose,
It’s planning the next move for you.
When you dig,
It explodes from you.
Pray your enemies may brace,
for the fray they may face from you.
Listen as it beats,
It sings for you.
Follow its drum,
its concussing wave beckons you.
When you die,
It does not leave because it is not done with you.
Before you are killed,
It beats still, it heals and fills you.
When it is re-awoken,
It speaks to you.
Finally it has spoken,
Its cadence becomes you.
An old man sits in an old wooden boat.
His vessel fills slowly, struggling to float.
He wrestles the trespassing water,
As once did his father and his father's father.
Soon the sea swells bringing its salt.
He tries, he fails to defend the assault.
His raft defeated, sinks to the depths.
Spirit now depleted, he takes his final breaths.
He lay weightless,
His soul ship-less,
His mighty hull now hallowed,
His heart soon too will follow.
Waves soften but still beckon,
Him towards a grave upon his ships wrecking.
Pulled now into the deep,
His father’s legacy is his to keep.
An ever-sung melody,
Passed down indefinitely,
Preserved in a salty cocoon.
Still fearless of his dark blue doom,
For long he’s known what his sinking will bring.
His song is now his son’s to sing.
Don't let me trifle with life.
Don’t let it come to me, make me venture out the door and find it.
Make it so that as I reach out my hand to grasp it, I cannot for it is ethereal.
Let life be a journey.
Let me experience adventure and let those adventures be surreal.
Lead me to discoveries,
and let those discoveries broaden my ability to comprehend.
Strike me with muscle clenching paralyzing awe,
Then make me forget what I saw and expand my capacity for awe.
Don’t let me be born living.
Do unto me so that I am born in pieces.
Make me fight against the will to do nothing.
Ever entice me with leisurely pleasure.
When I am willing to do something,
try your hardest to keep me being a being of nothingness.
Don’t bring me friends or teach me.
Don't offer gifts or beseech me to do anything.
Make it impossible for myself to reach me.
Make me struggle to learn who is true.
Make it so that each of my lessons be complicated.
Destine me to continuous and seemingly endless mistakes.
Don’t let every problem I try to solve have an answer,
Sometimes I will lose, and I want to be reminded of that.
Let my victories taste sweet.
When tragedy hits make it painful,
make it darken my view of everything in this world.
Make me hurt, make me numb, make me angry
defile every memory of joy I have,
make me hate even you.
When I feel joy let it be the single greatest feeling you can fathom for me.
Let it last.
Make a dark so dark I forget the sight of light of day
let me see light so bright I can’t look away.
Don’t try and show me other people's lives,
Just let them be part of the world I live in.
Allow me to just accept them as natural and beautiful.
Let them not trifle with life either.
They too have a way and let me be okay with that.
Let people who are evil be not created so.
If they have been taught evil or see evil let them forget evil and be blind to evil.
Make me feel alone.
Let me feel abandoned.
Make me feel needed.
Let me learn to be too perfectly still.
Do not show me the way.
Allow me to trust.
Make me feel one.
Allow me to be surrounded.
Betray me and steal my trust.
Throw me into a fray.
Let my future be seeded.
Allow me to be perfectly still.
Let there be happiness.
Let it last.
Let me embark on this journey and let me see it to its end.
If I am to fall short let me start again.
Let me trifle with life.
Don’t let me be born living but let me die having learned how to live.
Oh, let me live.
- Joey Denney
All of these good habits make-up our daily routine. The comfortable pattern of events that we've fabricated for ourselves and decided makes us feel right and happy. And to change this very specific formula would be chaos. No no no we mustn't change this formula.
Roll over. Check time. Snooze it. Tip-toe back down that empty hall-way towards peaceful uncomplicated serenity.