5 Tips for Traveling in a Group or with Friends

1)      Share the responsibility… and the Blame.

Shit happens, mistakes are made and details fall through the cracks but that is no reason to cause tension within your group. It is common to want to place blame but it’s also important to remember that you chose not to make those plans. If you have your heart set on a certain attraction, budget or location then you need to accept responsibility and take the initiative to make it happen!

2)      Know what you HAVE to do and advertise it.

No one wants to travel and miss out on the one thing they really wanted to do so make sure your group knows what is important to you and take the initiative to make it happen. If you merely mention it and wait for someone else to put it on the agenda it’s likely that you’ll never make it and possibly develop hard feelings over it. Also accept the fact that its their vacation too and if they don’t have the same interests that you may need to go alone!

3)      Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

We all know you love your friends but that doesn’t mean you want to be attached at the hip for days on end. I strongly believe that a little alone time is a good thing, especially while traveling to re-center yourself and digest what is going on around you. Use your time apart to experience what makes you different, splitting up is a great way to accomplish more of what each individual wants to accomplish.

4)      Have an opinion without demanding.

There is nothing more frustrating than asking where everyone wants to ask and there is complete silence. Just throw out a couple ideas, anything to just get the ball rolling so you don’t end up spending more time talking about what to do than actually enjoying doing it. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, demanding that everyone does what you want isn’t okay either, be open and flexible without commandeering the entire trip.

5)      Relax.

YES, you are on vacation and you want to see new places and experience new things but it’s also about making those memories with your friends. Try to focus less on the destination and more on the journey, you are supposed to be enjoying yourself after all, let go a little. If you’re really having a hard time and start bringing down the group, excuse yourself, its their vacation too, don’t ruin it for everyone just because you’re unhappy.

Saturday Snapshot: Mail on the Pacific

What an unassuming photo right?

Isn’t it amazing how a change in scenery can alter your perspective? You notice beauty in the most unexpected and innocent of places, like a strand of old run down mail boxes.

I remember being amazed while visiting Stonehenge, located just off a small road that locals drove every day, what must it be like to pass by something so significant in such an insignificant way.

On the flip side, what is it like to pass by something so insignificant in such a significant way?

I was driving along the Pacific Coast as I soaked in the self-reflection and embraced the quiet spaces in my mind; I was in a time of transition. Searching for beauty and peace while pondering what could bring meaning and purpose in my life.

These mailboxes, as unassuming as they appear remind me of the unique perspective traveling can arouse finding beauty that can be so easily gone unnoticed. With only 77 days before I begin my adventure as a permanent traveler I wanted to make one last trip to the California coast.

Standing on the shore with my toes in the sand while the ocean crashes on the beach, serenading my thoughts and the salty breeze fills my lungs. When I am here everything is possible and I am living the life that I so badly longed for so many years ago in this very spot.

My wish is that in even the smallest of ways my journey can help inspire and motivate others to pursue dreams and encourage passion.

What are you passionate about? What do you dream about?

 

It’s always 5 O’clock in Margaritaville

MargaritavilleSign

Between the night clubs, pool parties, gambling tables and of course the more scandalous performances that leave very little to the imagination its no wonder why there is debate over what the greatest attraction in Las Vegas really is. However, if you’re looking for the best Margarita at any time of day then Margaretville is the place for you!

MargaritavilleHH

A trip to Sin City just isn’t complete until I’ve had at least three one  margarita and a tower of volcano nachos stuffed in my face.

Sharing is Caring so my friends and I always get the house margarita on tap for the table to share… just thinking about it is making me begin to drool….

I’ve only been to the Margaritaville in Vegas but I am heading to Key West, FL on a cruise in 2 1/2 weeks and hope I can try out their location too!

MargaritavilleGroup

While it’s really the food & drinks that draw us in the fun decor and live band are sure to swoon you too!

MargaritavillePlane

Hostel with the best View: Jerusalem

I was exhilarated at the opportunity to travel throughoutIsraeland theWest Bankalbeit a little hesitant since it was my first time traveling to such a historic and unpredictable location. I was joining a classmate from my University who had traveled there previously so we could research the conflict and every time I mentioned we were headed to the middle east the reaction almost always included cautionary tales and warnings of the danger we were sure to encounter.

En contraire! Yes, there is danger and yes there is a conflict however that seldom means there is an immediate threat or an eminent threat. If there is any single lesson traveling has taught me it is, the media portrays the world SO NEGATIVELY and embeds misguided fear and uncertainty. Unfortunately these beliefs are so difficult to correct unless you experience the goodness of a place first hand.

When discussing what our lodging options were we decided that when we weren’t staying with locals it would be best to stay in hostels. I will say that even with my adventurous spirit it was comforting to know I would be traveling with a male friend and we decided it would be better to sleep in the same dorm room (usually with 6-8 people) rather than separate into same sex rooms. Through every stay in several different hostels we slept in dorm rooms and I felt threatened or vulnerable even when my friend was out for the day doing something different from me.

One of my favorite hostels located right in the center of Jerusalem was Jaffa Gate Hostel. We were tired from traveling but anxious to put down our luggage and start the hunt for our first falafel of the trip! A young gentlemen greeted us with coffee and tea and went over the amenities such as internet, television, nightly movies, went over the basic rules and gave us a tour of the facilities. While I loved the decorated interiors, simple bedrooms and comfortable common rooms its really the stairs leading to Jaffa Gates rooftop that make this hostel top of my list!

The sun nearly hiding beyond the hills, evening began to settle in while the air was still scented with cumin, nutmeg and caraway. Now, if I close my eyes I can almost hear the call to prayer and cool breeze flow through the remains of the ancient city…

Exploring the ruins in Palestines countryside

As the sun begins to set over the rolling hills of Bethlehemdecorated with citrus and olive trees you can feel the magic settle in the air.

My new friends and I were not about to stay indoors and miss out on stunning beauty of the Palestinian countryside and headed out to explore.

The other volunteers staying at the Bustan Qaraaqa permaculture farm heard rumors of an abandoned look out station used years prior by Israeli soldiers and we wanted to find it. We were given instructions similar to,

“you go past the field next door, follow the main road until you pass a park and its just on the other side of the hill”

Okay…

As the only girl wanting to get out and explore I was grateful that my friend and two other male guests wanted to find the abandoned watch station too. We managed to find our way and spent time wandering through the tattered and torn buildings interested in the writings that have since been painted on the remains of cement and metal.

View of the village edge from inside the abandoned lookout.