Lately I've been reading a lot of books, articles, etc. that make me want to grab my passport and jump on a plane. To anywhere.
Here's a great one from National Geographic. If I ever have kids, they will be traveling tots for sure. As kids, my parents took us all over. Granted, we didn't usually get out of school for it, the Air Force moved us all over the country and family get togethers had us road tripping in that old station wagon. By the time we were in high school, we'd at least driven through most of the continental U.S. We'd been to loads of national parks. We'd seen the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Black Hills, Alamo, Rio Grand, Gulf of Mexico, Statue of Liberty, Niagra Falls, Great Salt Lake, and more. I knew more about history from visiting the Alamo and from getting Halloween off from school because it was also Nevada's state independence day. Seeing the places you learn about in books has an amazing way of making it stick.
I also find it remarkable that the article cites a few schools in Virginia that discourage family travel, but the school highlighted as a good example is in Alabama.
And another one from Lonely Planet. I agree with the argument that travel makes you smarter and more interesting. You learn so much while you travel, not just about the place you happen to be, but about the people and yourself.
I also read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and it certainly makes you think a bit more about what really matters to you, and what to let pass by. Also inspires you to focus more on those things than anything else.
Yesterday I finished My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock and loved it. She's a journalist who gets laid off and sees a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "Do something that scares you every day." She creates a project and does something each day that she's afraid of from sky diving, diving with sharks, climbing Kilimanjaro, to standup comedy, tap dancing and talking to her boyfriend about the future/marriage. The whole project is absolutely the kind of thing I would do and just might make my own project for the next year that's a combination of overcoming fears, happiness and also crossing things off the to-do list.
That list includes things like finish my masters, improve my time in half marathons and a long list of foreign destinations, starting with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in October.
I highly recommend these articles and books, especially if need a little motivation, inspiration, validation or just that little reminder to go do the things you want to do.