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Much love,

Laura Chang

Travel More

Travel more was and is my 2014 New Year's Resolution.

The definition of Travel is as follows:

trav┬Ěel
verb 
make a journey, typically of some length or abroad

I know that everyone says they want to travel more, but this year, I meant it. For many of you who know me, knew me, hardly know a single thing about me...here is the truth. I hardly traveled before the year 2014. And to prove this, here's the breakdown with NUMBERS! Numbers always help, right? Oh, and I'll throw in a map a little later on.

Prior to 2014, I had only been to two of seven continents: North America and Asia -- and I really shouldn't even count my birth country as a country I've been to in the world because I've lived here all my life. Within those continents, I've only been to three countries: The United States (where I was born), Taiwan (where my family is from), and Canada (the closest country I could easily cross a border and visit).

How many countries are in the world, you ask? 196. (Well-- sort of.)

When I typed into the search engine, "how many countries are in the world?" Google gave me an extended explanation, and said:

There are 196 countries in the world today. Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one.

Yes, I googled that number. (hover over the "googled that number")

Here. Let me show you a map of the world! Click to enlarge and see if you can spot Taiwan!

Free map from vectortemplates.com

HINT: THE MAP DOES NOT LIST TAIWAN NEXT TO THE ISLAND.

Well, clearly I am a little biased. So, 196 countries in this world it is-- Taiwan included. And that means THREE countries is how many I've been to...that is until this year.

Since January, I've been to 6 cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Two of those cities were in states that I have never been to: Georgia and Illinois.

In May, I visited one country outside the United States: Colombia
Which, by the way, is a brand new country that I added on to my traveled list, but also happens to be a country in South America, making this year the first time I visited a new continent, too!  

To take this a little further, and since the year is not over yet, I'll be in the continent of Asia in ONE day! I will be in Taiwan, which IS A COUNTRY, for a little under a week and then flying to the Philippines for the first time, which I am absolutely excited to visit.

So, you see, I was not a well traveled person before the year 2014. I felt the need to explore a little more of what my country had to offer before I jumped overseas. I took a quick trip to Atlanta, Georgia in Januaray, starting the new year right with my resolution.  Then, the rest was history and just flowed easily! I was booking weekend trips to major cities like Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. I basically squeezed a trip in to whatever long weekend I could take with company holidays. Work also allowed me to travel to Orlando, FL and Berkeley, CA. In May, I got to visit Cartagena, Colombia in South America for just a quick 5-day trip. And if we're looking into the future, tomorrow, I'll be in Asia visiting Taiwan and then off to the Philippines, a new country I am visiting for the first time.

Taken from my flight from NYC to Orlando, FL

NYC all lit up. Taken on my flight from NYC to Atlanta, GA

In all my life-- before I decided to make traveling happen-- I followed the rules of my parents, the rules of my teachers, and the rules of my work environment. But, when I stepped away from all of that on my personal time, I realized that there was (and is) a heck lot more room for me to humanize myself. We live our lives day to day, following a routine and a work flow. But, having a hobby, surrounding yourself with people and things your love, and loving yourself, is just as important-- for sanity sake. For me, ever since I expanded my vision and used my camera as a third set of eyes, I also expanded my vision of the world. Photography has led me to more places than I have ever been to in the past decade of my life. Photography has inspired me to travel more.

Yes, the world out there can seem big and scary, but beyond the bad, there is also good. There are good people and there is goodness in this world. Outside of the bustling city that is New York City, there is more that can be found. I'm not saying that I want to leave my life and live a completely new one. I just want to temporarily get away from my sheltered surroundings and make a journey, for some length, abroad.

I'm simply just saying that I want to travel more.

Love,
Laura Chang