Can travel experience be a better education than from a textbook?

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to blog!  We recently returned from a trip quite literally around the world!  We visited family in the UK and toured around Nepal and India.

Every time we pack up for a long international trip, I look at my (CARRY ON) bag and sing in my head, “travelin’ light, it’s the only way to fly.”  Yes, it still amazes me that I pack for 3 weeks in a tiny bag.  If you look at my pictures closely, you’ll see a lot of outfit re-wears AND I always leave room for a few purchases overseas too ;).

This post is going to be all over the place, but it’s more a travel advocacy post.  I plan on going into more detail about the goodies we got in India in forthcoming posts.


We started out our trip in Europe (Belfast, Northern Ireland then Bath, England) then headed to Asia (Nepal and India)–wow–what a contrast!  Visiting family in Belfast and Bath was amazing and relaxing.  Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in England, with its’ rich history dating back to the Romans.

Here are a few more pictures of Bath:

DSC_0098 DSC_0078 DSC_0053 DSC_0068


Europe was amazing and I’ve been blessed to visit a few times, however, I’ve never traveled to a place like Nepal or India before.  From the culture, food, driving (which is absolute mayhem); I’ve never experienced anything even remotely close to visiting those countries.  Writing this post, I have a hard time putting our experiences into words.  The hair-raising car rides (whizzing and swerving around camels, cows, elephants, and families of 5 on a scooter), observing Hinduism, the heat, the smells of food cooking by the street vendors, the hawkers; India literally assaults your senses!  While this vacation was far from relaxing, we saw some REALLY amazing things!

We saw the Himalayas.

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Yup, that’s Everest with the cloud over the peak!


We rode an elephant.


 Not sure what we’re pointing at but it’s a funny picture and one of the only shots the guide captured the ENTIRE elephant.



 I fed monkeys at a random roadside fruit stand! The monkey taking the watermelon from me is nursing her baby!



We visited the Taj Mahal.

DSC_0113 DSC_0120 If the scaffolding wasn’t there and Ryan captured the entire building, this would be a National Geographic quality photo.


We got to see Hindu funerals at Varanasi, the holiest city in India.


We saw how carpets are made (I plan on doing a full post on this interesting process).


Here are a few more interesting shots:

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DSC_0014 DSC_0045 DSC_0093 DSC_0105 DSC_0111 DSC_0120 DSC_0146 DSC_0176 edited Taj

The colors, sounds, smells and sights experienced all at the same time are what make these countries unique.  Yes, I was hot, I got sick, I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and I missed a Western toilet.  But it was a trip of a lifetime and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  When reflecting on our trip, I try to grasp the reason why I love to travel so much and I think it’s the thrill of a completely new experience.  As we age, our perception of time changes.  When we’re young we experience all of these new things and waiting for an anticipated event seems to take FOREVER (remember waiting for Christmas to come…I was ready the day after Halloween).  As we age, our life seems to speed up and we fall into habits, routines, and have familiarity with the daily rhythm of life.  Therefore, we rarely have completely new experiences that grow and shape our mind as when we were young.

I love traveling so much because it pushes me out of my comfort zone of the “know” into the “unknown.”  When I travel to a place I’ve never been before, I almost feel like a child again, experiencing things for the first time.  I get to see new things and have new experiences that I would never get if I didn’t go.  My mind thrives on getting out of the ordinary and experiencing the extraordinary.

Even when I come back home to Southern Illinois, my life is forever changed.  I see my whole world with a different perspective now (and this happens every time we go somewhere new).  I learn so much about myself, other people, and it shapes my world views in such a way that I could never grasp from a textbook or a film.

So if you don’t travel much or you’re thinking about traveling some place very different, JUST DO IT!  Travel is a very educational, eye-opening, and life changing experience!

Linking up to Savvy Southern Style!

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  1. Nancy Nancy
    June 29, 2015    

    I loved reading about your trip and the the spectacular pictures!

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  2. June 29, 2015    

    Thanks for visiting Alyssa! You and Alex need to come down and see all of the house work I’ve completed since your last visit!

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  3. June 30, 2015    

    I love that about you guys Amy! We share the same love for traveling and trying new things, however, you’re much braver traveling with 4 kids!

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  4. Sebastian Sebastian
    August 12, 2015    

    Ryan just sent me the link to this, beautiful pics! Looks like you guys had a great time.

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    • August 13, 2015    

      We did have a FANTASTIC time! We just spent like an hour stalking your insta photos and, wow, you’re going to have to take us to a few places in the PNW when we visit! Incredible photos!

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Hello there, my name is Jessica and I'm so glad you've dropped by! I am a weekend DIYer, a die-hard antiquer, and a lover of all things vintage. Join me on my never ending journey of turning our house into our home!