How I Found Perspective Through Travel

That saying about your problems following you, I know that to be a reality. I would be lying if I said that I have never traveled to escape or run away from people and things. Even as I did, I always knew that my coping mechanism was probably going to fail legendarily. I still ran like the wind.

The term wanderlust really resonates with me. I understand it as very much being one of the other things that motivates me to travel. Merriam-Webster defines it as

“strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.”

I haven’t met very many people who have a stronger longing to wander than I currently do. It’s with me every moment of every day and if I had all the money in the world at my disposal and therefore endless options, you wouldn’t find me sitting still anytime soon.

Checking off places visited from something akin to a Bucket List is not something I have ever actually done. I don’t have such a list written anywhere, on paper or electronically. It’s not that I despise the practice outright. It’s simply not for me. Since it isn’t, I will confess I have judged others who do it just a little in the past.

BUTAs I have traveled

I have found that running away from problems can sometimes provide just enough distance for me to mend some things with regards to the people and places that trouble me. It’s not because distance is a solution in the same way good communication and proper application of the words, “I’m Sorry” are. It’s because distance has allowed me moments of uninterrupted thought and space that leave room for better understanding. I have found much needed perspective that has sometimes allowed problems to be solved in ways they may not have been, had I no distance from them. I’ve also seen how some problems needed to be faced head on and how only going back to them would fix what was broken. There was a moment of clarity on a boat in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain which comes to mind as I write this.

It was in Turkey that I realized being driven by wanderlust doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If I wasn’t a person prone to wander, I doubt I would have ever ended up in Burhaniye. There, while visiting Pete and Dalene, I gained perspective regarding just how full of holes some of my world views are. I learned to be less afraid of the world and I saw just how much my wanderlust has forced me into situations that have enabled me to grow to be a better person. It’s good I have a lot more wandering in me for there is so much more growth that needs to happen.

During my sojourn in Italy, I came to understand how and why some people make bucket lists. When I was riding around on a Vespa, with the lights of Rome sparkling and blurring in my watered vision, I realized that doing so (just like Audrey did in Roman Holiday) had always been on my Bucket List; the one that’s unwritten, that comes from that hopelessly romantic place in my broken heart which still believes in something beautiful despite the odds. I won’t begrudge anyone the desire to climb Machu Picchu anymore. Surely it’s even better than my Vespa ride and I could not be more grateful I was able to do that. Such a small thing perhaps but perspective has now taught me not to bedgrudge anyone something that brings them as much happiness as my night in Rome brought me!

Instead of simply planning my next destination, I’ve been thinking more deeply about travel and its role in my life since Expedia launched their FindYours campaign. I believe that traveling can be one of the most transformative things you will do in your life and that perspective is just one of the many things you will gain through seeing more of the world. I’ll be spending more time in the month of July talking about gaining perspective through travel. You can join me and in doing so, you might win big!

Tweet one or more times:
1) and tell me about a trip or destination which really brought you perspective
2) include a photo
3) make sure to tag my twitter handle: @kirstenalana plus add the hashtags #ExpediaFindYours and #Perspective

While #ExpediaFindYours officially launched on Monday, we’re really kicking things off today. Your participation could mean a $250 travel voucher or four nights at a resort in Aruba. What’s the catch? All you have to do is show off your favorite travel photos. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and blogging, you may already be doing that. Do it over the next three weeks using the #ExpediaFindYours hashtag on twitter and you could win a voucher to use on or a four-night stay in Aruba. But there’s always fine print, right?

* The campaign is called the Expedia Find Yours Twitter Photo Contest. It kicks off today, July 11 and runs through Tuesday, July 31st, 2012.
* You have multiple different ways to win, including $250 travel vouchers from Expedia and a four-night stay in Aruba at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts.
* The most immediate way to participate is by participating in #ExpChat today, Wednesday July 11, from 10:30 a.m. to noon PST (1:30 to 3:00 EST). Be getting together your favorite travel photos of all time to share. One participant will win a $250 travel voucher to use on
* Over the course of the next three weeks, 10 travel bloggers [myself included] will be giving away $250 travel vouchers. You can see a full list of bloggers and how to win on
* At the end of July, Expedia will be giving away the four-night stay at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts to one participant on Twitter. You can find out more about the prize and full terms and conditions on
* Expedia’s new campaign is all about helping you FindYours. Expedia knows that every trip is unique, personal and holds the potential for incredible possibility. Every trip, every traveler is different and with so many options to choose from, Expedia is available every day to help you FindYours.

These are the other bloggers participating. They all have inspiring stories I bet you will benefit from and each has a different word that really resonates with them. Mine is perspective but you will have to visit them to see what #ExpediaFindYours means to them…
Juno Kim is also known as Runaway Juno
Ben Reed blogs at Adventures with Ben
Kara Williams is one of the lovely women behind, The Vacation Gals
Chris Staudinger & Tawny Clark blog at Captain and Clark
Deb Corbeil & Dave Bouskill’s award-winning travel blog is The Planet D
Anne Taylor Hartzell blogs as the Hip Travel Mama
Jeremy Branham blogs about Budget Travel Adventures
Trish Friesen is the Trip Styler
Jade Broadus & Bob Christian are the adorable engaged couple behind Vagabond3

And if for some reason you aren’t moved by anything we have to say, I bet this video will make you want to head out and FindYours … I look forward to reading your tweets, seeing your photographs and hearing your inspirational stories! Watch out for a compilation of my favorites toward the end of July.
Disclaimer: This post is presented because of my partnership with Expedia, as a participating blogger in the #ExpediaFindYours Photo Contest. Opinions, as always on this blog, are my own and the contest is sponsored by Expedia not by myself. All winners are chosen by Expedia.