Find Yours! I found mine …

Not too long ago, during a time I’ve written about on this blog before — I was desperately unhappy and in need of a change. Previously lacking in the kind of courage it takes to pursue one’s dreams (that for me always included more travel), I found myself emboldened by the strange sort of freedom a divorce can provide. Newly single meant newly in charge of my own destiny. Newly in charge of my own destiny meant the ability to choose risk that had the promise of reward.

I didn’t grow up with a lot of people who made me feel that I could do anything, pursue any dream or achieve any success I set my mind to. Some small voice inside me was crying out to be that person for others. However, in order to do that for others, I had to believe the impossible could come true in my own life. First.

I sold some of my belongings, got rid of more, packed up things in boxes and eventually moved to NYC, where I could be based between adventures, on a wing and a prayer — after spending some time traveling through the United States, a bit of the Caribbean, Austria and France.

Why do I travel? Why choose a life based around frequent travel where my home is one of the most expensive cities in the US? To prove it can be done: on little to no money, without support sometimes, without a silver spoon, without direction and sometimes with nothing more than wanderlust propelling forward motion.

The more I travel, the more countries and continents I add to the meager list I started this journey with, the more people message me to say that I inspire them. It’s peppered with a lot of people professing jealousy as well. There will always be people like that. I don’t travel for them.
A company I am proud to work with on an on-going basis, Expedia.com, is about to launch a campaign they label as: Find Yours.

Well, I found mine. Through travel I have found my PROOF. That dreams can come true, that there’s more than one path to happiness, that fresh starts are possible, that “impossible” is only true if we let it be, that the world isn’t as bad as the news makes it sound, and even that good people can still be found – everywhere. I’ve met more than I can count while out collecting stamps in my passport. In even the most unexpected of places. Some of the best people I know I have met because of traveling. Before I got the passport I have now, I didn’t have too much faith left in my fellow human beings. Travel has helped to change that too. Now, the more I travel, the more I want to help other people in any way I can.

I don’t know what the future holds. Some days it is a broken laptop without a prayer of being fixed and I end up going almost two months without much of an update to this blog. Then, some mornings I wake up with a fixed laptop and a backlog of trips to write about if I can find the time in between other projects. Now home in NYC, with renewed proof that life can still surprise me and that travel is still opening doors — I’m working on writing about England, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Mauritius, Spain, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and all the adventures in between.

I hope to inspire you to … Find Yours. Whatever it is. It’s never too late. Dave, Deb and Trish have found theirs too and if my story doesn’t impact you — I bet one of theirs will.



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  • Ms Cathy

    You’re right. It’s only impossible if you let it be impossible. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read your post today. It came at the perfect time. I’ve been struggling with adjusting back to being at home and at times, feel like it’s a constant battle to find my happiness in a career. I will continue pushing, fighting, and standing up for my own decisions. Thank you for your strength and words!!

    Cathy Trails

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      This makes me very very happy to know Cathy! Thank you do much for commenting. Many blessings to you.

  • http://www.novacationrequired.com Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    As we discussed, I love the new campaign because it brings out stories like yours. You DID find yours, didn’t you :)

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      I really, really have. You and Kent are a large part of my proof. I couldn’t find the picture of the two of us from Kim’s to put into this post. Though I wanted to, who has the photo of us from Colorado??

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    So happy you found yours, travel is a wonderful thing.

  • Jdomb’s Travels

    Thanks for sharing your personal story!

  • http://twitter.com/savvytravelblog Savvy Traveler

    As always, I love your spirit and adventurousness.   One day I am going to insist that we have an adventure together.  I want to see a place through your lens.

  • http://notinthepink.com Ceri

    I’ve definitely found mine through making my way around the world. I admire your courage and strength. This is such a lovely post. :)

  • http://twitter.com/WanderLoz Lauren Nicholl

    There are few ad campaigns that truly touch and inspire me. Expedia’s is one of them. Yours, along with Dave & Deb’s and Trish’s, are stories that give real meaning to this message. Thank you for continuing to inspire us, Kirsten. 

  • http://www.quietwanderings.com/ Cherina

    Such an inspiring post, Kirsten. Travel certainly has a way of changing you – it never ceases to amaze me just how much I thrive on it! Like you say, travel can be filled with surprises and and unexpected people or events that can completely alter your life.

    Travel restores my confidence in humanity also, and when things all seem to get too much and people begin to disappoint me…I realise I’ve clearly gone too long between trips.

    So glad that travel has helped you find your happiness. I’m sorry I only got to meet you briefly in Umbria – would’ve been nice to get to know you :)

  • DavenDeb

    Kirsten you are such a strong and inspring woman. I have so enjoyed getting to know you this year. You are someone who people look up to and I often find myself in awe of how centered you are and how people gravitate to you. I am so glad that you are pursuing your dream and following your passion. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all! 

  • http://twitter.com/itsMr_med Andrew Medhurst

    I agree. You really have to do what you must, otherwise it’s only a matterof time until you explode

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Well said, Andrew! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  • http://www.posarellivillas.com/ tuscany villa wedding

    This is really very nie post with very beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing this here with us.

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      Thank you!

  • http://www.budgettraveladventures.com/ Jeremy Branham

    I’ve been there.  If I can be honest, I struggled with insecurity and confidence.  I can’t say my travels have fixed that.  One of the biggest trips of my life came right after one of the most painful ones.  I’ve used travel as an escape, freedom, and a number of other things.  In the end, travel has taught me a lot about myself and giving me a different perspective on life.  I may not be over all of my issues but I hope my travels and words can inspire others to live better lives in this beautiful world of ours.

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      In this way, we definitely have a lot in common, Jeremy! I’m glad you too are a part of the ExpediaFindYours group.
      And thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  • Pingback: Inspirational Travel Around the Web

  • Travel_and_Escape_Community

    Travel is transformational! You prove that in your inspiring story. We know a lot about how inspiring travel is which is why we made it one of our featured series: http://www.travelandescape.ca/tag/travel-that-transforms/

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/ Kirsten Alana

      I’m glad you find it inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :)

  • Craig Makepeace

    Inspiring story Kirsten. And great photos as always. Keep going!

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