Benefits of Traveling

I am inspired to write about the benefits of travel this month as I have just gotten back from a few weeks of exploring. I spent a week in London, five days in Berlin and then a few days in New York City with my kids.

For me, traveling gives me a boost of energy, helps me put my own life focus into perspective and makes me grateful for everything I have when I come back home. I love seeing other cultures, trying new foods and just observing other ways of life.

I find that all my senses are intensified when I am traveling, I have a heightened sense of awareness, ranging from things like the sound of the birds and peoples accents to the smells and tastes of food and even different ways of interaction or forms of transportation.

I know many people put off traveling either due to cost or time or not being able to coordinate with others so they assume that traveling alone is not an option. I decided to write this newsletter to remind people that travel does not have to be expensive and that it does not have to take months of planning and preparation and that traveling alone is not as daunting as it sounds.

For those of us who are divorced, traveling when your ex has the kids is a great way to do something special just for you!

For my Europe trip, once I booked my flights, I did not do any other preparation because I knew I could figure it out once I got there. My initial plan was just to go to London to see my brother but then I randomly found this amazing and inexpensive workshop in the German countryside which included dance and bodywork, so I took the leap of faith and decided to go to Berlin on my own. This is not my first time traveling alone internationally but it had been a while, all the other trips had been pre-Covid so I had a moment or two of doubt about doing it.

As I said earlier that travel does not have to be expensive, here are some examples of ways that you can explore cool places around the world, meet interesting people and not break the bank. I know for many people, some of this might sound crazy but I do think pushing yourself outside your comfort zone in small ways can pay off big time in enriching life experiences. For my first night in Berlin, I knew that I was arriving late and that I really just needed a bed so two nights before I arrived, I booked a dorm room at a hostel in the center of Berlin for $12 for the night. It was a very nice, big model skyrise, super clean, shared bathroom on the floor. I felt extremely safe and everyone I encountered was super friendly, all fellow travelers, mostly younger but quite a few people in my age group as well.

The workshop that I had found was three nights and four days of dance classes, body work, swimming in the lake, three delicious meals of homemade food, all for $400 all in. It was at big house in the countryside and I shared a room with another girl from the workshop. When I first read about it, I got so excited but as it got closer I did wonder if I had pushed the envelope too far. I am so glad I did not let my fears take over, everyone was wonderful, mostly from Germany but also from a few other countries in Europe. And it was one of the highlights of my trip.

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I had not booked a hotel for my last two nights in Berlin, I had planned to book them on the train as I was heading back into the city after the workshop.  And then one of the girls from the workshop invited me to stay at her apartment for my last two nights in Berlin.   Again, at first I questioned whether I should say yes but then I thought, I really like her, why not and now I get to see the day to day life of a true Berliner.  Her apartment was perfect, I slept on a comfortable pull-out couch, met her boyfriend who was great and shared two typical German homecooked meals with them.  So another benefit of not over-planning travel is that you create space for unexpected things to happen.
Lastly, I want to say that taking your kids on trips when you are single can be really fun and empowering. I love traveling with my kids, of course we have our moments, they are teenagers who get grumpy but overall I find it to be such quality time and worth every penny!
I know that I am on the extreme end of adventuring and I am willing to push myself far outside of comfort in order to have these experiences. But I just want to encourage everyone catch themselves if they start to talk themselves out of going somewhere they have dreamed of because of fear. Travel expands the mind and ignites the spirit, at least for me. Enjoy all your summer excursions!!!
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