Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Unassuming Traveler by MJ (Guest Blogger)

Yes, I am the unassuming traveler.  If you look up the definition of unassuming, you will find:  Exhibiting no pretensions, boastfulness, or ostentation; modest.  That about sums me up when it comes to traveling.  Now do not get me wrong, some say I travel a lot.  Relative to many others, I do.  But if I had my way, I would get out and explore even more.  I take trips, not so I can tell you where I have been.  I take trips, so I can ‘be there’.  Wherever ‘there’ is.  I take trips because it is a calling, from my inner spirit.  Ok, before you say this girl has gone off the deep end, hear me out.

Ever since I can remember, I have always had a strong desire, or need, if you will, to go somewhere.  As a pre-teen, I used to pretend my bedroom was a cute, shabby-chic studio apartment in a Harlem brownstone.  I need the comfort of a change of scenery.  I like the ‘high’ of feeling I have paid little, for a lot.  I want to switch things up, when possible, to keep life fresh, and to be honest, keep me sane.

As in my everyday life, I am a discount, sale shopper.  I find deals for trips and flights.  I wait for a better prices.  I patiently stake out Living Social’s Escapes on Wednesdays for the latest travel package.  Then when the time comes, I pounce like a big cat in the jungle.  I cannot even begin to explain the feeling of finding that deal, to that place.  Wherever the place is, it needs to fit me like a glove.  Just like in a thrift store when I am shopping for vintage gems, I know how to spot a good deal quickly and toss the overpriced rubbish to the side. 

I am not alone either.  My best friend Antoine, my #1 travel companion, always keeps his eyes open too.  Just yesterday, an email came through my Blackberry for a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  The package deal was sweet, so immediately I contacted Antoine for a second opinion.  Now for the next 7 days before this deal expires, we will research, fact check and stalk this sale until we have come up with a reasonable decision.  Yeah, it’s that serious.

I do not have the luxury of having a lot of expendable cash and lots of vacation days.  My trips are serious business to me.  Here it is September 2011 and I am already planning my BFT (best friends trip) for the upcoming year.  We casually already have about 3, yes, 3 trips swirling around in our heads for 2012:  a trip to visit Antoine in Vegas (I try to  visit him in whatever city/state he is currently residing), a much needed trip to NYC (we’ve got shopping and plays to hit up), a quick getaway to Mexico (if possible, gotta get some beachtime) and the big kahuna, our BFT trip (I’m shooting for Europe).  The funny thing is, we can make it happen, even with my limited 2 weeks of vacation.  You see, we have done it before.  In 2010, I managed a Mediterranean cruise, Cancun and New York.  Mind you, I just started my current job and had prorated and limited vacation days.  This year, in an effort to keep ‘my traveling down’, I have already been to NYC and Puerto Vallarta.  Yes, I consider that an ‘off travel year’.

I am not rich, but I try to live life richly.  There is so much ‘out there’ to explore.  From a spiritual outlook, the Creator (insert whomever you believe this to be), has bestowed upon us a playground, with vast, but limited resources.  Why not take advantage?  Now let the travel church say Amen!

Check out MJ’s blog http://mjmilkyway.blogspot.com/