5 things I learned + loved while travelling

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The past month travelling and working in the US has been in a word: extraordinary.

The trip was everything I could have imagined + way more than I actually bargained for…

Let’s just say there were a few challenges thrown my way, but nothing could take away from the abundance of love and sense of adventure this trip was filled with.

I’m going to split up the trip over a few posts, but today I want to share 5 lessons that really hit home while I was away and the fresh perspective travelling has given me….

#1. Magic is something you make.

The trip was filled with endless magical moments.  A and I got to know each other a whole lot and fell in love all over again. There was so much laughter and fun that made up this trip I know I will forever look back on this time with a big smile on my face.

You know you’re in a state of bliss when 20 hour road trips, queuing for places; delayed flights and generally waiting around went  unnoticed and were just another opportunity to enjoy each others company, take silly photos and just be 100% present, appreciating exactly where you are in the moment.

#2. DropBox is genius.

I lost my phone during the second week and was completely devastated – not because I cared about losing my phone (despite how annoying this was) but because of all of the photos I had on it. We’d just come back from Portland and the ProBlogger WDS conference and I’d literally taken hundreds of photos up until this point – I was in shock thinking I had lost them all.

But then, thanks to my inner-geek, I remembered that I had set up my Dropbox to auto sync with my phone camera which meant that all of my photos could be recovered. Needless to say a lot of happy dancing ensued following this discovery!

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Taken on one of the stops on our road trip in the prettiest little town, Jacksonville, Oregon.

#3. Your attitude determines everything.

One of the best parts about traveling is being taken out of your routine, your comfort zone and all of the habits you become accustomed to when you’re at home. Being thrown into the unknown comes with the choice of either rolling with things and letting them flow or allowing them to consume you while you get frustrated and annoyed by things that don’t go as planned.

The last week of the trip didn’t really go as expected. I got sick which meant the last few days in San Francisco were spent in bed, drifting in and out of a sweaty fever. Not fun at all. Somehow I mustered the energy I needed to get to San Jose to the BlogHer conference, but by the time I got there I was out of steam and could only attend the second day of the event.

Getting sick and not being able to attend the conference was a wake up call; there was absolutely nothing I could do except focus on resting my body and getting well enough to travel home. I decided it wasn’t going to get me down and instead rolled with it.

Everything in life that’s thrown at us – no matter how big or small provides us with the opportunity to decide how we respond. And the reality is that getting caught up in things that in the long run really don’t matter, are just a waste of time and energy.

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#4. Airbnb beats hotels any day.

We stayed in Airbnb places for most of the trip and we had the best experience. Not only were the places we stayed in amazing, it was so nice to be able to be in an apartment where you can buy your own fresh food, do your washing and feel at ‘home’ when you’re away from home – it’s these simple pleasures that make all the difference when you’re travelling.

In Portland our Airbnb host went out of her way to look after us. When we arrived there were candles burning + fresh hydrangeas (she must have known I was coming, seriously!). Then she dropped off some delicious treats from her favourite bakery in Portland. Needless to say we felt very spoilt!

If you’re after any recommendations in San Francisco, Portland or San Jose, drop me a note!

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#5. It’s all about the journey.

We had some crazy, random and hilariously funny moments on the trip. There were so many of them and looking back they served as a perfect reminder that there is so much beauty that lies within those seemingly ordinary moments that when you look back on you realise they were the ones that mean the most.

One particularly hilarious incident was when we were driving back to SF on our road trip from Portland. It was 2am and we were about 30 k’s out of the city and all we could think about was getting to our apartment + sleeping.

I was driving and A had to keep reminding me the whole way to stop veering to the right hand side of the road.

We then realised that there were flashing lights behind us and we were being asked to pull over.

By this point I was freaking out because I knew I was driving about 20 miles over the speed limit and praying I wasn’t going to get booked.

Two officers gathered on either side of the car and shone their torches into the car.

Here’s how it went down -

Officer: Did you know you were going over the speed limit?

Me: I’m so sorry officer, I didn’t realise I was going so fast, we’re just keen to get back to San Francisco.

Officer: Have you had anything to drink tonight? You were driving very erratically and weaving in and out of the lane.

Me: No officer; I’m terribly sorry but we’re from Australia and I’m used to driving on the other side of the road, so my natural instinct is to veer to the right.

Officer: You’re from Australia? The land of down under?

Me: Yes sir.

Officer: Ok, we’ll let you off this time, but only if you give us an “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” – on 3:

{both officers are getting wildly excited at this point}

Both Officers: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!!

A + I: Oi, Oi, Oi!!

Officer: Enjoy the rest of your trip!

We were in fits of laughter the rest of the way back SF.

 

Has travelling helped give you a fresh perspective?

Rachel xx

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  • http://soniastyling.com Sonia from Sonia Styling

    Oh I do love this! I couldn’t agree with you more on all of your points. And isn’t it wonderful that simply being Australian can make other people happy (and get you out of a jam)?! Welcome back, lovely. x

    • Rachel

      Thanks lovely – so glad to be back! xx

  • http://www.maxabellaloves.blogspot.com Maxabella

    Travel just opens you up! It’s the thing I love most (except human things). How wonderful to experience this together. My husbie and I travelled together for years and years when we were young pups, fresh and new. 18 years and 3 kids later, that travel was the foundation for a beautiful, curious life. x

    • Rachel

      Oh that sounds wonderful! I agree, it is such an amazing thing to be able to experience with someone you love – makes for some unshakable bonds together xx

  • Sarah Ayoub

    Love the drive back from San Fran story! And your Air B&B host sounds like a dream. How lovely! Welcome home x

    • Rachel

      Thank you lovely, it is so great to be home! Yes, the incident on the road trip was hilarious! We were super lucky with all of our Airbnb places – I will be avoiding hotels from now on and stick to Airbnb where I can xx