13 Places I Want to Travel To Before I Turn 30

13 Places I Want to Travel To Before I Turn 30

Because then I truly will be thriving.
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I love traveling. The world is full of so much adventure and culture. Although I have heard of these places for years I have never been to see them, so it is in my plans to see all of these before I turn 30.

1. Los Angeles, California

LA is full of fun, from studio tours to the Hollywood sign. On my list of places to visit is Little Tokyo, more specifically the Sugihara Memorial, the Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2. Sydney, Australia

I have my whole itinerary written out for the trip I hope to someday make to Sydney. I want to hit to Sydney Opera House of course, and then the Sydney Harbor Bridge. After those, I want to travel outside the city to Blue Mountains National Park

3. New York City

I really want to visit the NYC at New Years’, so I can ring in the new year in Times Square. While there I also want to visit Ellis Island where millions of immigrants were processed before entering the US to start a new life. And as cliché, as this is, I really want to visit the Statue of Liberty. I also want to walk the path through the city that Mia and Adam did in “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman.

4. Santorini, Greece

This city is only on this list because of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series. I put this on the list around probably seventh grade after I read the series in four days.

5. London, England

I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so most of what I want to do in London is related to that like King’s Cross Station, Tower Bridge, and Leadenhall Market which served as Diagon Alley in the movies. Places that cater more to my historical side that I want to visit are the City of London, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben.

6. Barcelona, Spain

I’m pretty sure Barcelona is on the to-do list of every person who has ever seen “The Cheetah Girls 2.”

7. Mexico

Mexico intrigues me because although the US is so close our cultures are completely different. When visiting here I plan to visit the Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City, and Cabo San Lucas.

8. Washington D.C.

The capital of the United States of America holds so many historic treasure and sights. The National Mall, the Smithsonian, the White House, and the Capital Building are all on my list of place to see.

9. Seattle, Washington

Seattle was the birthplace of grunge and Nirvana and played home to my favorite movie “10 Things I Hate About You.” It also currently is home to a statue of Vladimir Lenin that originally stood in Czechoslovakia, and although it was from a dark time in European history, it is still part of history.

10. Easter Island

I just want to take a picture with the statues.

11. Wichita Falls, Texas

This one seems weird seeing as Wichita Falls is a random city in north Texas. The reason I want to go there is that it is home to the world’s littlest skyscraper. It doesn't look like much, but at one point this building was part a fraudulent investment scheme.

12. Anaheim, California

The home to Disneyland and the Mighty Ducks (aka my favorite Disney movie franchise of all time!)

13. Marseilles, France

This city was the setting of my favorite book that I was forced to read in high school “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.

I hope you found a place that you want travel to or reminded you of somewhere that you’ve been. I am a homebody at heart but sometimes it’s good to get out and explore. Wish me luck!

Cover Image Credit: Flo Karr

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9 Things That Happen When A Walt Disney World Cast Member Visits Disneyland

I traveled from the most magical place on earth to the happiest place on earth.

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As a cast member, you can get free entry to the Disney theme parks. So why not make use of your tickets to head over to Disneyland to see where all the magic originated?

1. Freak out about the history.

Walt Disney LITERALLY walked these grounds. Not that you're freaking out or anything, but you are. Let's talk about Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. Walt Disney literally had a hand in all of it. This is the original park where all the magic was designed and created and you can't help but geek out.

2. Compare the attractions.

They're the same, but they are also different. Let's talk about the facade of The Haunted Mansion. Loving it in New Orleans Square! Thunder Mountain: the same but mirror opposites. Space Mountain you have a riding buddy, but on Splash Mountain you don't. As a Cast Member, you notice all these small differences and can't help but geek out a little when you notice things you like better.

3. Admire the costumes.

They're SO CUTE! When you get used to seeing and wearing the same costumes all the time it is really cool to freak out over the new and unseen ones from a new land.

4. Appreciate the additional discounts.

Food. All the food. I feel like a VIP with all these food discounts!

5. Run back and forth between the parks...because you CAN!

You can get from California Adventure to Disneyland in about one minute! It's so close! What a dream! No busses, no monorail. It's just so convenient! You can hop back and forth all day without losing much time at all!

6. New Orleans Square.

Let's talk about how cool this land is! Walt Disney World is TRUELY missing out here. Without a doubt this is my favorite land in all of the Disney theme parks! I love that the Haunted Mansion is here. I LOVE the Mickey shaped beignets. The shopping is super cute. And you cannot forget about the Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean.

7. Test Track<<Radiator Springs Racers.

Beth Monnig

There's literally no contest here. After riding Radiator Springs Racers you'll never care about riding Test Track again. The story is just so immersive on Racers. And you actually are racing someone. It's so cute you could just ride over and over again.

8. Suddenly discover that Disney World is massive in comparison.

Walt Disney World is SO BIG! It really is its own world in comparison to Disneyland. Also, let's talk about the fact that Disneyland is literally right in the middle of LA. There has to be something said for the fact that Walt Disney World is all on its own. The experience is a bit more immersive in that way in Florida.

9. Plan your next trip back.

Beth Monnig

Seriously though. The trip is just so short, even when you spend a couple of days at Disneyland. Despite its smaller size, there is still so much to see and do that you feel like your trip is inevitably too short no matter how long your stay is. The only thing to do is brainstorm to start planning your next trip out!

Walt Disney World will always be home, but as a Disney Cast Member, it's always good to go back to the place where the magic originated.

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Solo Travel As An Extrovert Is Not Easy

Traveling alone, I can choose to view it as a difficult separation from other people or a journey of learning more about myself.

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Life has a funny way of revealing itself and after my mom ditched me on our mother-daughter trip to Taiwan, I found myself on a plane headed to a country I had never visited where I didn't know a soul. (Disclaimer: I have relatives in Taiwan but had never met them prior to the trip.) I was excited for the adventure that awaited, fear not setting in of how difficult it would be not to just travel in a foreign country where I didn't speak or read any Mandarin beyond the very, very basics (Literally my vocabulary consisted of 10 simple words/phrases, one of which was the word for "apple" which isn't that helpful for getting around. I have since picked up a few more phrases.), but also be alone with just myself for company.

So much of who we are is influenced by the people around us. A large part of our identity comes the communities we choose to be part of and how we interact with others. But who are we when no one's looking? Who am I without the pressure of other people around me?

I am an extrovert. I get my energy from being around other people. It's not that I can't spend time by myself; I just prefer to be in the company of others even if we aren't always interacting the entire time. My best friend and I will even do independent activities together. (Once when we were hanging out, she was knitting and I was doing a puzzle. I swear we don't act like grandmas all the time.)

Although an extrovert, I'm still a pretty independent person who doesn't like to rely on others for help. But traveling alone in Taiwan, I don't have much of a choice. I'm forced to learn to navigate public transport myself and somehow survive with the basic English that Taiwanese locals know.

Learning to travel alone has been an emotional and difficult journey as this is the first time I've been on my own for this long. Although lonely at times, I've realized that loneliness is a mental state of mind. There is the Sanskrit saying, "Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha moksayoh" which translates to "As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind." My mind determines my emotional state of being and perspective! Traveling alone, I can choose to view it as a difficult separation from other people or a journey of learning more about myself.

Through solo travel, I am slowly learning to be comfortable with my own company which has been the biggest challenge. I was never an only child, I've always had a roommate in college, and even when I study, I go to public spaces like coffee shops so I can be surrounded by people. I don't know what to do when it's just me and my thoughts all the time. (Especially during meals. Should I appear busy on my phone like all the other single people around me?)


Because when you're traveling alone, you're in charge. You have control. You can change the itinerary from moment to moment without anyone's approval. No one's holding you accountable. Spontaneity? Let's go. You can build barriers but you can also tear them down. It's fun, it's exhilarating. But it's also scary. And unpredictable.


Would I go on another solo expedition in the future? Preferably not as traveling is way more enjoyable when you have someone to share the experience with. It's the people, not the place who make all the difference on a vacation. Yet I do believe solo travel is an experience that everyone should embark on at some point in their life (to grow and learn more about yourself).


This trip has taught me to find spontaneity in the fear and excitement and I've learned to embrace discomfort and unpredictability. To travel with not just my mind and logic but my heart. There are so many unique experiences, if you overthink too much, you'll lose your chance.

I've found that when I am alone, I become more vulnerable and open to meeting new people and having more offbeat experiences. I say yes with zero hesitation. Certainly, there are friends I made, hikes I climbed, streets I meandered, and epiphanies I had that wouldn't have transpired had I been with my mom or a group of people.


Traveling alone, I am now more confident in myself and am ready for the next wave that life throws me. Because I've learned that once you overcome the fear of being by yourself, getting lost (which you will), or accidentally eating meat as a vegan because you didn't understand the signage (I'm sorry!), the world in all its vast infinity can be pretty great. And there are some things that you can only learn on solo travel.

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