Whether it’s Father’s Day, a birthday or a graduation, the best gift you can give the ones you love (including yourself) is travel.
Do travel. Give travel.
And rather than giving you a generic (yet oh, so true) list of all of the reasons travel is the best gift you can give, I’m going to tell you about how I practice what I preach.
In December 2014, you helped me win a trip for two to Bali with Singapore Airlines.
It was my first night (ever) in New York City. I was attending Travel Massive, and I had the highest engagement on Twitter because of you. I was so excited! I always wanted to go to Bali, and it was my first time winning anything as a blogger. It was the perfect start to my week in the Big Apple.
I was not traveling full time at the moment, and was in the process of making some decisions in regards to my career. I wanted to make my dreams into goals: see the world, develop myself professionally, grow personally.
However, traveling and working full time is a romanticized goal. It was not just a difficult decision to make, but also challenging to shape into a tangible reality.
It is because my family and friends have supported me that I have been able to make travel blogging a profession.
So I gave my parents the trip to Bali.
I didn’t think it through. I hadn’t planned to give it to them if I won. I just on instinct came home, saw how excited my parents were for me, and gave them the prize before I’d even realized it.
And as I type away at their home, visiting for just the weekend before my next six months of travel, tears fill my eyes for every time I have been homesick and for every time I’ve questioned my decisions in my career and in my personal life. I cannot help but feeling overwhelming grateful for my family’s support.
I was supposed to be a lawyer. I was valedictorian and had a dozen jobs and internships before graduating from college. I am paying student loans for the #1 most applied to university in the world. I wasn’t “supposed” to be learning photography and wondering where my paycheck three months from now would be coming from.
My entire life, I did everything “right.” This last year, I redefined what’s right for me, and my parents have stood by me even when they didn’t understand.
My mom picks out my outfits, my dad taught me to climb and adventure, my grandma comments on every Instagram post with broken English, and my brother hugs me hard, even through a text message.
I have made so made sacrifices to transition into success professional travel blogging. Cutting expenses, I am not in the position to financially give the types of presents I want to share with my friends and family. So when I received the prize and it was a gift to travel, I couldn’t help but give it to my parents. It’s all I have to give them.
So a few thank yous.
Obviously, to my amazing family. I hope you read this when I’m not home. My mom is probably going to cry.
To all of you who read my blog, share, comment, and double tap. Literally, you are the reason I could give my parents this gift. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.
To Singapore Airlines (unsponsored), for allowing my parents to use my tickets to Bali.
And to Komaneka Ubud Luxury Hotel for partnering with me to host my parents on my behalf.
This hotel is internationally recognized for its infinity pools within the jungle. I always wanted to go there, and it was an honor to send my parents.
I’ve never posted photos of a resort or destination that I have not experienced myself, but my parents had a remarkable time, with particular appreciation for the hospitality at Komaneka Resort. Since I trust their judgement (and am extremely grateful), I’d like to share some of their photos.