How To Escape Travel Envy

How To Escape Travel Envy

Stop experiencing travel envy and start living the life you are lucky enough to have.

Summer is officially upon here, and us tired, stressed out college students are finally released from the school year. Summer is obviously a time when a lot of people book their big vacations, and soon enough we find our Instagram and Facebook feeds clogged with snaps of the Effiel Tower on a dreamy Parisian evening, a glossy infinity pool nestled in a gorgeous resort in Mexico, and the gleaming skyscrapers of New York City. We view these dazzling images as we sit in our bedroom at home, our own summer plans, for various reasons, consisting of no time wandering through glamorous destinations.

The reasons for your lack of travel are endless, and as much as some destinations are branded affordable, the bottom line is that you need some funds to travel, especially to far-flung places like Europe. Also, you might be working a job or an internship this summer and can't afford to not work the whole summer, especially if you find yourself too busy with academics during the school year to commit yourself to a job.

There will always be that handful of people that, for some reason or another, are able to travel to multiple countries throughout the year without fail. There will always be those people who are able to spend their whole summer in Italy, while you're left scratching your head as to who is footing the bill for this grand adventure. I don't have any spite against this people. I totally believe that if you have the resources to travel often, you would be crazy not to take advantage of the opportunities available to you.

But still. It does begin sting a bit when you see other people perusing your dream travel destinations while you are spending the majority of your summer within the confines of your hometown. The sense of travel envy starts growing inside until you stop appreciating the travel pics other people are posting ("wow, that picture of Italy is so cool!") and start resenting them for their very existence ("wow, it's so great that you have the time and money to travel to wherever your heart desires... can you stop posting now?"). Jealousy is always an ugly thing. But with social media especially being so prominent, it's becoming more and more of an everyday issue.

Our generation especially boasts the ideal of taking epic road trips across the country, backpacking around Europe, and just generally getting out and exploring. I think this is a great mentality to have, but when you are unable to participate in these types of things - even if it's just for a summer - the travel envy can be difficult to manage. My advice: don't let your lack of travel ruin your summer. Even though I think society likes to push the idea that you can only truly travel the world while you're still young, you really do have your life ahead of you when it comes to traveling. Yeah, I would rather be discovering a new country instead of working 40 hours a week at my summer job, but this is what I need right now. Despite the wanderlust I have, I know deep down that there are also great perks to being home, such as being able to spend time with family and friends, saving so much money when it comes to living in my own home, and also being in my hometown - which yes, isn't some exciting destination, but it's still the only place I can truly call home.

So the next time a friend posts a picture from their vacations... don't let it act as a reminder of all the traveling you haven't done. Don't allow other people's pictures take a hit at your self-esteem. The comparison is too easily done when you're on social media, and it's just another toxic mode of thinking to cut out of your life. This summer, make it your personal goal to stop experiencing travel envy and start living the life you are lucky enough to have.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Abroad 'Grew' Me

Change can not even begin to describe it


"Abroad changed me."

It's the cliche, all-encompassing, slightly asshole-ish phrase that any student returning from a study abroad experience is bound to let slip at least once. As ironic and annoying as it may sound, especially when repeated 100 times, it's definitely not false. However, I believe it best gets its point across when modified slightly.

The one slight correction that can be made to this statement is the word "changed". I know for a fact that my study abroad experience opened my eyes to new cultures, new perspectives, and new possibilities. I was able to branch out and pursue areas of interest I had never imagined. However, I am still me. I did not morph into a new person or lose anything I once had before I boarded that plane. If anything the correct phrase (although not grammatically proper) should be "Abroad grew me". The path I followed in my experience, every twist, turn, and bump that hit me along the journey, helped me to become something more of myself.

My problem-solving, communication and overall interpersonal skills have become so much stronger than those which I left JFK Airport within early September. All of this combined, my confidence has grown tenfold. In terms of my self-confidence, I have never felt more validated or reassured of who I am, what my values are, and what I want out of this life. All of these things are due to the situation I was put into, but I would not call them changes. Because the word "change" insinuates I never had any of these skills or characteristics before.

Being brave, for example, is not something I typically would label myself as. But when you are lost in the streets of Morocco, frantically running in circles to find a blue building (in what is known as the "Blue City") when your bus is leaving in under 5 minutes, the act of going up to a complete stranger and getting your Spanish to somehow coincide with their Arabic is not just a show of bravery, but a necessity. It is how you survive. Although I quickly learned that after a few too many travel fiascos, I also came to realize how much better life can become when you let this bravery into other aspects of your life - not just the emergencies. The little parts like trying new foods, volunteering to make a fool of yourself and flamenco dance, stopping at the street corner to converse with the woman selling flowers, these are the small things that shaped my entire experience. And these are the biggest things that helped me to grow. This bravery was something that I always had, just never to the extent at which I tapped into during my time abroad.

Yes, coming back from studying abroad I feel like the world around me and my normal life have changed. I never could have expected it to stand still just because I was absent. However, I do not feel that I have "changed" from who I was before. A desire for a challenge is what led me to go abroad in the first place and I am extremely blessed to be able to say that my wish was fulfilled. With each new experience, I expanded my horizons, and piece by piece I watched myself morph into what I would now call a confident and well-rounded individual. This growth has brought me to where I am today, but it is only the starting point on my adventure to further explore cultures, the world, and where my place is in it all.

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