There are so many benefits of travel on your happiness, growth, gratefulness, quality of life, and creativity. In this episode we talk about all the ways travel has enriched our lives, made us happier, and brought so much joy into our lives. We share experiences that have made us appreciate other cultures, benefited our mental health and street smarts, and opened doors for us.
There are even health benefits of travel. Not just from eating cleaner foods and walking more as your explore a new city, but the mental health benefit of travel in reducing stress and feeling accomplished and free go along way.
Benefits of Travel – Episode Transcript
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are mixing it up a bit and we’re going to be inspiring you to travel in a different way today. We want to highlight ways that traveling can change your life and make you a better person. And we’re going to prove it to you by sharing some examples from our own lives.
2 (1m 14s):
Yeah. Traveling opens you up to different cultures and people and helps you realize that there aren’t many differences that divide us as human beings.
6 (1m 23s):
I feel like travel broadens your life experiences, and it can really make you a better person. If you’re willing to be open to different cultures and customs, I really love traveling because I’m always looking forward to my next vacation and new adventure. Because every time that I travel, I grow as a person. And I learned something new about a different part of the world.
3 (1m 44s):
For me personally, I’ve been traveling since I was 20 by myself in my early twenties. Obviously now I’m with the squad, but main point being is I experienced some of the nicest people out there when I’m traveling, strangers have treated me, like family have opened their homes to me. Like I can’t even say enough good things about the way that people have treated me. And I feel like it’s completely opposite from the notion that people are untrustworthy or mean, or only care about themselves. Like, I think that the world is filled with people who want to help you.
6 (2m 17s):
So before we get into it, I just want to say guys, episode 40,
3 (2m 21s):
4 (2m 22s):
2 (2m 24s):
4 (2m 25s):
3 (2m 25s):
Come and graduations guys,
4 (2m 27s):
Congratulations over the hill.
2 (2m 29s):
50 will be over the hill. Forties, still knocking on the Hill’s door is
6 (2m 34s):
The new 30.
3 (2m 37s):
So getting right into it
6 (2m 39s):
First, we’re going to talk about cultural experiences and how this can help change who you are as a person when you travel
4 (2m 46s):
And it can help you find new foods that you like the best thing about traveling.
2 (2m 52s):
Yeah. That’s one of the coolest things about traveling for me at least is the cultural experience that you get by trying a new cuisine. And here in America, we’re very lucky. It’s a melting pot of all cultures on earth. So we always get to try different cuisines from all over the globe. However, there’s nothing quite like authentic cuisine when you’re there. And I feel like there’s no better way to truly understand and experience a culture through its food.
3 (3m 20s):
I mean like, yeah, we’re, we’re familiar with pizza and spaghetti that you can have in Italy, but I think like really like the stuff that you didn’t even know existed. It’s I dunno, it’s just cool that you get to try all these different things that you don’t even know exists.
4 (3m 34s):
And they’re so delicious. Yeah. So many good foods out there to eat.
6 (3m 37s):
Yeah. I think one of my favorite things is when we were in Lebanon and we got to try the Mesa and there’s just so many different snack foods that we could to try all together. And I love having little bites here and there. So I get to sample everything. And I like to also try traditional food and like traditional places, like when we were sitting out in the middle of Dubai, in the desert, sitting on the Ottomans, having a traditional breakfast, like that was such a cool
4 (4m 3s):
Experience. It was bomb, wasn’t it?
3 (4m 7s):
Or how about who’s
2 (4m 8s):
Been chili chili,
3 (4m 11s):
The not so chili chili and the chili weather.
4 (4m 14s):
I loved how in China, too, everything was on a lazy Susan and it was family style. That was an experience that you don’t always get in the U S which was,
2 (4m 23s):
I think that really puts it in a good perspective, Kim, on how it can talk about food, having you relate to another culture, because over there, at least in China, for example, it truly is a family experience. And that’s why they have the lazy Susans. You’re all kind of like sharing and that’s part of their culture. The family’s important time with the elders is important. As the example you gave to Lebanon with the Mesa, all sitting out like meals are an activity to be with family and friends. Whereas here it’s just kind of like a routine to do. And we just too busy with hustle and bustle. We don’t make time even to sit down as families and have dinner here in the states, you know? So it’s a good way to understand their culture and things that they put priority towards through meals.
3 (5m 7s):
Well, even like China and Lebanon, when you do the shared style, it’s different for me because I’m used to having my own meal, but to talk to what you just said, it’s a shared experience. Like you don’t get your own meal because you’re sharing with everyone else.
6 (5m 22s):
And while we’re talking about food, that leads us right into drinks. Like I love going to new countries and trying that their countries drink like the Pisco sours in Peru.
3 (5m 33s):
When I was in Balise with Nicole everywhere, we went, they had happy hour signs, but really the only thing on happy hour was their drink. The panty dropper. I don’t remember what was in it, but like that’s what it was called, the penny dropper. And I’m like, I don’t understand what they have a happy hour when it’s just half off the panties.
6 (5m 52s):
I also really like trying beers from different regions as well as their wines. Like when we were in Montenegro, we got to try some of the best Montenegro and wine while we were there. And it was so delicious.
3 (6m 4s):
Or how about in Africa? We had loggers that were what, 7% for a dollar 50.
2 (6m 9s):
I mean, they were pretty high up there on ABV that’s for sure. Yeah.
4 (6m 13s):
And in Italy, it’s actually customary around the five or 6:00 PM hour to go to a pair of TiVo, which is where you have some kind of cocktail, like an Aperol spritz or something. And they put out a buffet of different finger foods, chips, peanuts, and it’s just a social experience that it comes long before dinner, which is usually around 9:00 PM. So it’s different. It’s pretty cool
3 (6m 35s):
Question. I wanted to ask you is when we were in Lebanon, you were really wanting to try the Iraq. Did you end up trying it yet? I have you been in it? I can’t wait to hear your reaction about that. It’s like really, really, really, really strong alcohol. Really? It tastes like black licorice alcohol.
4 (6m 52s):
My favorite things about other countries is to take home some of their wine or their boozy liquor.
6 (6m 58s):
Yeah. You have quite the collection at home. Now
4 (7m 0s):
I have this one from Dominican Republic that is tree bark and it’s filled at three parts, honey, red wine and rum. And it makes this Mara Bumba and it’s supposed to be an aphrodisiac drink. And I can vouch that it is,
3 (7m 18s):
Or when Kim and I went to Cuba, we were able to pick up some Cuban. What was it? Rum? I think it was, yes. So I got some for you and Brittany. And then I also bought a bottle of Cuban wine, which looks like just kind of, I haven’t opened it and I won’t drink it, but it’s really there just for show. Cause it doesn’t look,
4 (7m 36s):
Looks like Coca-Cola.
3 (7m 37s):
Yeah, sure. It’s great. But how cool, because Cuba had been closed for trade for so long. So to get something from Cuba that no one else has just like how cool moving on to the next experience is customs. There’s a lot of new customs that you’re going to experience in different cultures and countries.
6 (7m 59s):
I love greetings in different countries. Like I love that in Lebanon, you have to do three kisses on each cheek or not
2 (8m 8s):
6 (8m 8s):
But you alternate cheeks and you go 1, 2, 3, Brittany.
4 (8m 11s):
I learned the hard way on the third kiss. You not go in for the make-out.
6 (8m 16s):
Yeah. So fun story. Shout out to a wall lead who is Jamal Lindsay and his cousin. He comes to visit the United States quite often. So one of the last times he was in the United States, not the last time, but one of the last time he was here, we were greeting each other and you start the kissing on the right-hand side. So you go in for the right. Then you go in for the left. And then I thought, is he going to go in for a third? Or is he just going to go in for two? So I stopped. And he went in for the other one and we kind of met halfway and we locked lip
2 (8m 48s):
Lucky you. But you know, what’s really funny about that though. Minus the story of you kissing my cousin on the lips is in other middle Eastern countries, they only do the two, but Lebanon’s one of the few that does the three. So it’s like one of those things that you learn really, as you go and each country has their own different culture. And you know, I mentioned other middle Eastern countries it’s to France, for example, it’s like the two kiss just as well. So
6 (9m 14s):
Just learn to say cheers.
4 (9m 15s):
That’s my favorite thing. Because every language, every culture has a way to say, cheers. Obviously we say cheers in the U S in some other Asian countries, they’ll say Mabu high or in Arabic. It’s the hot con salute, salute and Spanish salute. They in Italian or chin, chin in Brazil and Italy. Sometimes it’s just, it’s amazing. I love it. How
6 (9m 40s):
Do you say it in Dubai?
4 (9m 46s):
They don’t drink in Dubai.
3 (9m 48s):
Yeah. Good answer. Kim Kim nailed it on the head. So also along with that, you’re going to be learning a lot of new traditions that you might not have been exposed to.
2 (9m 59s):
Yeah. Like one of them, for example, is taking off your shoes when you enter the home. Now I’m sure some of us have come into some places and some friends homes in the United States where they do that. I’m not going to lie, Brittany. And I’s home is one of them. I don’t wear shoes in the house that everyone takes him off. But most people in the United States is not really a thing, but you go to a lot of foreign countries and that really is a thing. And it’s also a cultural thing because shoes clearly are dirty on the floor. And so you don’t want to bring in dirt from the outside as a guest and disrespect somebody home. So it’s a cultural thing and a sign of respect to take off your shoes.
6 (10m 35s):
And a lot of Asian cultures, they use Squatty potties. And so you’re wearing your shoes in the bathrooms around the toilets, you’re squatting down. And so they want you to take off your shoes when you go into their home, because shoes are considered really, really dirty.
3 (10m 50s):
I had one friend at work tell me, because I had my purse on the ground and she’s like, oh no, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t put your first on the ground because in her culture, it’s bad because your money is in your purse and putting it on the ground is kind of like just no good. You know what I mean? So it really made me think twice now where I put my purse. Cause I don’t want it on the ground
2 (11m 11s):
At another tradition that you may come across and learn is accepting coffee. When it’s offered to you, you know, if you’re in someone’s home or like out and about, it’s considered rude to say no to an offer. More particularly in the middle east, especially when we were in Lebanon. So a lot of little things where here in the United States, you know, if you go to someone’s home and they offer you coffee, you know, you could say no, and it’s no skin off the other person’s back. They’re like, okay, but in other cultures it’s rude to turn down something that’s offered to you.
3 (11m 41s):
In fact, it’s like a little bit of a dance because the last you do, you want coffee? And the answer is no. And then they’re going to ask, are you sure? Do you, you don’t want coffee? And then the answer is yes. So like it’s, you know, don’t accept right off the bat, but then go in for it. And so I remember at one point we were at one of our aunt and uncles house and everyone said, no. And then she looked at me, she’s like, you don’t want coffee. And then I was like, oh, I’ll take some coffee.
6 (12m 5s):
And in other countries they often take like a siesta or there’ll be closed between lunch and dinner with,
4 (12m 12s):
In my honest opinion, I think the U S needs more of that’s what this country needs. It’s more siestas
6 (12m 18s):
And France. They didn’t really take siestas, but there was a long gap, like from, I would say two to like six or seven, they would be closed at restaurants. Like you couldn’t get a bite to eat. And it’s
4 (12m 30s):
Really the same
6 (12m 31s):
Between like those hours two to like six or seven that’s
3 (12m 34s):
A long night.
4 (12m 35s):
I truly think people would be happier if they napped every day.
6 (12m 38s):
I think so too.
3 (12m 39s):
2 (12m 40s):
But that’s another cultural thing. You know, they have that in Spain, but I feel like they don’t have that here in the United States because the United States is all about the mindset of productivity and we got to work and it’s hustle and bustle. Whereas, you know, the tradition of the siesta is more, they live a more relaxed and easy lifestyle and not to say that they don’t work hard, but they enjoy the little things. So it’s like, okay, yeah. To go home three hours from work to take a nap and have a late meal and then come back, you know, that’s like normal to them and that’s just their easygoing lifestyle.
4 (13m 9s):
Yeah. In France and other European countries. It’s actually pretty customary to take that long lunch and meet up with your family or friends and have lunch with somebody read on your lunch break. Just very much distress,
2 (13m 21s):
More personal time.
4 (13m 22s):
Yes. And it’s prioritized, which is amazing.
6 (13m 25s):
And then dinner, there is much, much later like dinner doesn’t usually start until like seven or eight at the earliest.
2 (13m 33s):
How’s it going to say? You’re still given an early time. I would say like 8 30, 9 o’clock.
6 (13m 37s):
I mean, it depends on where you are in the United States. It can start as early as like 4 35.
2 (13m 43s):
Brittany has given her grandma dinner times over here that she likes to have
6 (13m 47s):
Love dinner at five o’clock.
3 (13m 48s):
Oh, I see. Even now I already eat around like seven or eight o’clock. I just, I feel like I just get home later. So
2 (13m 55s):
Yeah, just for me though, you know, I always think going out late to eat, that’s something you do like on a date night here or that I’ll do with Brittany, but over there, that’s just the norm, like eating late and it’s what they do. And it’s probably because they have that midday siesta and they’ve taken a nap and had a late lunch. And so it’s just, again, part of the culture and it makes that unique and exciting.
3 (14m 16s):
Another fun tradition, like, especially in the middle east is fighting for the bill.
4 (14m 21s):
We saw so much of this on our last trip to the middle east.
3 (14m 25s):
You know, at some point you just got to concede and let the other person pay. Cause you’re being rude to not let them, but you can’t just like, not fight for it. You gotta, you
6 (14m 32s):
Gotta put up the fight.
3 (14m 33s):
Yeah. You gotta put some skin in the game.
4 (14m 35s):
It’s actually hilarious to see Jamal. Every time they tried to do something or get the bill, he honestly it’s too much, honestly, we’re fun. We’re full. You’re being too kind. Let me get it. And he’s like, no, no, no, I got it.
2 (14m 51s):
Don’t want you to pay. But even if you’re not like a guest and living over there locally, you know, you go out to dinner. Even if someone invites you it’s that fight. It’s like the song and dance routine, you know, you, no one truly, really wants to pay. But if you pay it’s the pleasure. But you just got to kind of put up that fight of hospitality. Like, oh yeah, let me, I want the bill. I want the boilers here. If someone offers a take like, oh, okay, let’s do it. Or let’s Venmo each other, you know, over there, you know, to sign up courtesy, to fight and want to do it hospital
6 (15m 20s):
Over there. If you invite someone to dinner, it is your responsibility to pay. Versus in the United States, if you invite people to dinner, everyone just kind of shows up. And then like often the bill split, occasionally people will pay for each other. But they’re, I feel like, no, one’s really splitting the bill.
3 (15m 35s):
Well, Kim and I learned that one in Cuba when we had met some people and we’re like, yeah, you should come to dinner with us. And to us it was like, yeah, come, you know, like we’ll all go together. And they were ready to cry. Cause they were so touched. And that’s the moment that we realized, oh shit, we just invited them to dinner. And we haven’t had dinner yet in Cuba. So we don’t even know what prices are and yet they’re crying. How much are we going to be paying? But yeah. I mean, at some point you do got to let them pay though. Cause it’s rude not to. So after you eat, what do you want to do next? Go to the bathroom.
2 (16m 6s):
I don’t know if that’s what I want to do. Right, right away. It may happen. But yeah, going to the bathroom was one of those things
3 (16m 12s):
That was my best attempt at a set
4 (16m 14s):
Bathrooms around the world will change your life.
2 (16m 17s):
It’ll make you really appreciate being here in the United States. One of the main things too is, and we’ve touched upon it on other episodes. It’s so shocking because it’s something we’re so used to here. But in other countries you just don’t flush toilet paper down the toilet.
4 (16m 32s):
They don’t use toilet seat covers either. They
6 (16m 36s):
Do not. Yeah.
2 (16m 37s):
Yeah. You won’t find toilet seat covers or anything like that. And depending on what country you’re at, you may find a toilet without a toilet seat at all.
3 (16m 46s):
I don’t remember there being toilet seat covers in Chicago. That’s the United States. But I mean, I guess it’s another culture too, right? Like the Southern culture versus like the Midwest versus like the west. Okay.
2 (16m 59s):
Okay. But you know, if you go to a public restroom in the United States, 90% of the time you’re going to have a toilet seat cover
3 (17m 6s):
2 (17m 7s):
Well, I that’s why I said 90
3 (17m 9s):
There the 10%, but yeah, no, it’s so true that, you know, you do have a lot of the Squatty potties, even when we were at the airport in Dubai, when we were getting ready to board our flight to London and then London to San Diego, I went to the restroom and there was three in there and two were being used. And then there was one open and I went to the open one and found that it was a Squatty.
2 (17m 31s):
I remember when we went to Africa as well. And we were in Zimbabwe. One of them was a Squatty potty and the other ones were just traditional Western style sitting toilets.
3 (17m 41s):
And I remember being in Lebanon when I was 11 and Jamal was 10 and one of our aunts and uncles, their bathroom is a Squatty. You know, that’s the way that the house was designed. And my mother was preparing Jamal and I for that and just teaching us how to use it.
6 (17m 54s):
I perfected the squat in China and I God, but like not only Squatty potty is aren’t there weird bathrooms where they have the bull, but they don’t have a C
2 (18m 4s):
Well, that’s what I said earlier. Some bathrooms will have a toilet without a toilet seat on it. It’s weird. That’s the worst thing ever. I might as well squat. I would prefer that. I mean the toilet without the toilet.
3 (18m 14s):
Okay. No judgements. So the toilets without a toilet seat, who’s actually sat on that thin rim.
2 (18m 21s):
I’ve never sat on it.
6 (18m 22s):
I will always wipe the rim and put toilet paper down. So just in case I touch a little bit, it’s at least on the toilet paper,
4 (18m 31s):
You sat on it today. You know,
6 (18m 35s):
I’m afraid my bus is going to go straight into the bowl.
2 (18m 38s):
I’ve never sat on one of those. That is absolutely horrendous.
6 (18m 43s):
4 (18m 43s):
Have you ever gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night when the toilet seat was up and actually kind of fell in a little bit? No.
2 (18m 50s):
No, I have not. Apparently you have Kevin, that’s your question.
6 (18m 54s):
4 (18m 54s):
That here to be building over here.
2 (18m 56s):
Have you done that in the United States? We’re while traveling
6 (18m 59s):
Both in other countries, they have bad days in their bathroom. So like in Lebanon or Dubai, they actually have the physical but days. And in Japan they have the toilet seats that will shoot the water onto you from the toilet instead. And in the Philippines, they typically have hoses that are connected to the toilets as like their version of a day.
3 (19m 26s):
I mean, I remember when we first got to Japan and we get off the airplane and go through customs. Now we need to use the restroom. So I go to the bathroom and they have warm toilet seats and I look over to the right and they have the buttons for the water to squirt out and hit you to clean you. So I hit it and I’m like, wow, this is really nice. This is really nice. And I’m thinking that you hit it once and then it just gives you a quick stream and then it stops. So I’m sitting there and it won’t stop. And finally kind of gets awkward because I’m like, oh my gosh, this is so much water cleaning me down there. And then I realized that they have an off button. So I’m like, oh, so I turn it off. And then, you know, like go wash my hands. And I’m telling Brittany, I didn’t know there was a stop.
3 (20m 6s):
And she’s like, meaning,
2 (20m 7s):
You know, it’s really funny about those Japanese toilets, which by the way, after being to Japan, I really want one of those. I’m willing to pay a thousand dollars for a toilet like that. I’m not even going to lie, but what’s really cool about them at these, for the girls. It makes no difference to me as a guy, but they have a button for, is it for the front? Or is it for the back?
6 (20m 26s):
I was just going to see that
3 (20m 28s):
2 (20m 30s):
So depending on what’s ID need cleaned as a girl, you know, they have a button front or back as really, really interesting, but it just goes to show, not that we’re unhygienic here in the United States, but some other cultures, they really take their hygiene seriously when it comes to going to the restroom.
3 (20m 46s):
I mean, they also have specific bathrooms in Japan where you can turn on the dryer. Cause after all that water squirts you down there, then you know, you want to dry. And so there’s a button to dry. And then next thing you know, there’s a
2 (21m 1s):
Nice hot jet of air,
3 (21m 3s):
Right on you.
4 (21m 5s):
All this bathroom talk is making me have to go.
2 (21m 9s):
It’s never something I thought I’d hear you say on the podcast cam.
4 (21m 12s):
Oh, because I don’t poop obviously.
3 (21m 16s):
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4 (21m 22s):
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2 (21m 41s):
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4 (22m 16s):
There are some other ways that travel can change your physical health and wellness. Some of the things that I find with travel and that most people who travel can agree, isn’t it lowers your stress. I think that having a work-life balance and getting out of town and experiencing new cultures, immersing yourself outside of work and giving yourself that separation from work really lowers your stress levels and just like being in another place and just enjoying yourself like living life is meant to be lived. And that’s what you’re doing when you’re traveling.
2 (22m 48s):
Yeah. I agree with what you’re saying, Kim. That’s one thing too, like travel is one big mental health vacation in and of itself just gives you time to recharge, relax. And I know there’s always the same. You need a vacation from your vacation when you return, which to an extent is true. And sometimes it’s go, go, go, but you’re always get to kind of enjoy just the little things. And even though it can be stressful in the terms of time constraints want to do it all, I really do feel that it is a good mental health reprieve to just relax, not have to worry truly about work or everyday things. And so, so liberating.
6 (23m 28s):
I like having my phone on vacation, but sometimes it’s nice when you go on a vacation and you don’t have cell service and you’re just off the grid for a while and you just have to be like in that experience and you’re not consumed by your phone. You’re not concerned, but work emails or anything else that’s going on. You just get to live in that moment and experience everything to the fullest. It just is so nice.
3 (23m 51s):
Oh, and my nine to five before vacation, I’m so stressed out trying to get everything done. I’ll stay late just to finish things up. And I’m worried about this and I’m worried about that. As soon as I walk out the door, just out of sight, out of mind. And it’s just so nice to be away from all of that. I mean, I love my job. I’m not saying that in a negative way, but you know what I mean? To just like, be away from it and let go of everything that you’re worrying about because someone else is going to handle it.
6 (24m 20s):
Yep. And once you come back from vacation, it allows you to come back to work, refresh, see things through new eyes. You’re not as stressed. There was not all that buildup. So you’re, you’re happier. Everyone else feels that vibe around you. They’re asking you about your vacation. They tell you that they’re living vicariously through your travels and you benefit from it. And it’s just such a great way to come back to work refreshed after so much stress day in, day out with your normal nine to five.
3 (24m 51s):
So question for you guys who has come back from vacation and has been told you look so great. You look so refreshed. You look so tanned. Oh my gosh, you lost weight. You fill in the blank.
2 (25m 5s):
I don’t really notice that because people tell me that every day,
4 (25m 13s):
Beautiful. You look so skinny. You look so tan. I’m like, oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Keep becoming.
3 (25m 22s):
Okay. So this section is all about the physical and the wellness. So one thing about physical is your dressing and your wardrobe. So let’s talk about how that is going to be different when you are traveling. So one, you’re probably going to be covering up in specific holy places, such as churches in Venice that Jamal and Brittany went to. And Brittany tried to slide on in,
6 (25m 46s):
Didn’t get through. I got caught.
2 (25m 48s):
She got caught and she had a pay a couple Euro’s to put on a little robe because Brittany wasn’t dressed appropriately
4 (25m 55s):
In Thailand. They gave me rubs to wear
3 (25m 56s):
Dubai. They have signs to make sure that you’re, you know, Hey, dress, respect.
2 (26m 0s):
Well, that’s even in public. But even on top of that, if you were to try to go into a mosque, you would need to cover up, you know, if you’re a woman, things like that. So definitely regardless of where you go or what faith that’s associated with with her, it be Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism. It’s always a general rule of thumb. You’re going to be dressed and have to dress respectfully in and around the holy areas and temples, churches, mosques, et cetera. Yeah.
4 (26m 28s):
So it teaches you to dress more respectfully, a little more conservatively sometimes, but also like you take the fashion and the flare of the places that you’re coming from. So in Italy, leather jackets and leather clothing is really big. So I brought back leather jacket from Italy, or sometimes when people go to Asian countries or African countries, they’re bringing back some of the clothing and some of the dress and style from those areas,
6 (26m 55s):
Jewelries, you know, often brings back
4 (26m 57s):
3 (26m 58s):
That’s. And then when I used to live in Lebanon in my early twenties, I bought a whole bunch of purses. And these are purses that you don’t have in the United States. They were pretty extra and I loved them and they were me. And so when I came back to the states, everyone would always make comments about them because it was so unique.
6 (27m 17s):
So moving along, there’s so many benefits to traveling. For example, making new friends. When you travel, we often talk about cash and Ryan who we met when we were on a tour to China and we still keep in touch with them and hang out with them. They actually went to hot Springs, national park with us. They went to Japan with Zana, Jamal and I. So they’re good friends. When we hiked the Inca trail, we met friends while we were there. We went and saw Jen and David and Colorado after we had come back. And I know you’ve met friends, too, Kim, along your travels
4 (27m 50s):
I have, and we really shouldn’t downplay this. This is one of the biggest things about travel that will change your life. And that it has changed our life and affected our lives is the people that you meet while you’re traveling. You make these friends while you’re there and that’s amazing. But then when you actually take these friendships and continue them on for months and years to come and you haven’t seen them in months and you reconnect. And another destination, like there is like a magic about that, that you only make those connections with people that you meet while traveling. And it’s, it’s like a friendship that it’s on another level.
3 (28m 23s):
Yeah. My friend sell the one that went with us to Cuba, Kim and I to Cuba. I met her gosh in 2008 when I was traveling, we probably hung out just a few times over the course of a week. And then I went back home and we’ve always stayed in touch. And then we ended up living together in Lebanon, not like roommate style, but like at the same time there in Lebanon. And we were just like such good friends. And I still talk to her all the time. Last week we Skyped over the weekend. So it’s just such a connection that you make with these people because you’re sharing experiences that you can’t share with other people back home,
6 (28m 59s):
Even with Layla, like you met her going to AUB, which is the American university of Beirut. You guys were both there for your travel abroad or your,
3 (29m 10s):
And then she got married and stayed there. But I always went back and like, I always hang out with her and I still talk to her all the time.
6 (29m 17s):
And you’ve talked about her ever since I’ve known you pretty much. And when we got to meet her, it was like, when you guys got to connect and see each other after not seeing each other for what? 10 years? At least.
3 (29m 30s):
Yeah. Well, I did see her in San Diego a few years prior, but still it’s the same thing that was like the first time in eight years. And it’s like, no time has passed. Yeah.
6 (29m 38s):
It was just like you guys reconnected and no time was lost
3 (29m 41s):
At all. No awkward silences at all. There’s other people that I do know here in San Diego that I have more awkward silences because there was no awkward silences with her.
6 (29m 51s):
Kim. You’ve also fallen in love in another country.
4 (29m 54s):
Oh yeah. I love collecting boyfriends around the world. One of my favorite souvenirs,
2 (30m 1s):
Different bros and different area codes go.
4 (30m 4s):
6 (30m 4s):
4 (30m 6s):
Abroad. My favorite abroad boyfriend will always be Marco in Peru because
6 (30m 11s):
4 (30m 11s):
My first, yeah.
2 (30m 13s):
I love first love first travel though.
3 (30m 15s):
Well, first international love.
6 (30m 18s):
4 (30m 20s):
For all of you out there, Linda in Spanish means beautiful. So when someone says, Hey, Linda, they’re saying, Hey, beautiful.
3 (30m 26s):
But we forgot that that means beautiful in Spanish. So Kim was like, Hey, my name’s Kim,
4 (30m 32s):
My grandma’s name is Linda. So that’s another thing that you get when you travel is you get to learn another language you get to express love and gratitude and appreciation in other languages. And that is beautiful.
2 (30m 45s):
Yeah. And making these friendships, you also see how positive the world is and how people just want to help. Like even if these are friends that you make along the way, and you continue to travel with them, keep in touch or talk. But even just strangers that you come across, you know, they’re not friends that you’re going to keep for life, or you’ll only see them there, but you just value those connections because they want to help you out. And if you were in the situation, you would want to help them out. It’s almost like a community in and of itself of just travelers and just that appreciation of what it is that we’re all doing, even though we’re on different paths and we’re connecting at this moment in time, it’s just really weird to describe. But like when you experience it, you know what I’m talking about.
3 (31m 28s):
Yeah. You also realize the value of connections. Like for me, I once went to Europe on my own. I bought a one-way ticket and thought, oh, I’ll just figure it out. But I knew someone in Denmark. So I hit him up. I stayed with him for two weeks. And then from there I went to Amsterdam and I knew someone there and she helped me out and she even hooked me up with a free place to stay. And then I knew someone when I went to Paris. So I was able to hang out with a friend from Lebanon who was now in Paris. So it’s just more of like, if you know, someone reach out and tell them that you’re going to be in the area and you know, don’t ask for anything, but just tell them that you’re going to be in the area. And you’ll be surprised that like, just how excited someone is that your going to be in the area and how much they want to help out and just be able to do something for you.
3 (32m 12s):
Another benefit as well is just all the stories that you’re now able to share with other people. Like for me personally, when people meet me and I talk about how many countries I’ve been to, or, you know, the places that I’ve traveled to it immediately puts me in a position of interest to this person. Because more often than not, most of the people I meet have not traveled as much as I have. So people are just so curious and interested, they have questions and it gives you a great conversation piece to talk about with other people. So
6 (32m 46s):
Yeah, travel is always a great conversation starter. Everyone wants to know about your trips. If you’ve been before and they have an upcoming trip, they want to know tips and tricks too. So it’s a great conversational piece.
4 (32m 58s):
It not only makes you more interesting, but when you meet someone and start talking to them and they’ve been to the same place that you have, then you also form a connection with that person. It’s like, oh, you went to the full moon party in Thailand. So did I, and then you have something to talk about. You like, feel like, you know, each other on a different level, because you’ve both had this experience, even though you may not have had it at the same time or with each other. It’s like a, I don’t know, some kind of bond that you don’t have with everyone.
2 (33m 26s):
I was going to say that reminds me a lot. Like when I come across people, which is very few, but you do who have said that they’ve hiked the Inca trail because that’s something to do. Not a lot of people do it. And it’s quite a unique experience. So even though like, I may not know this person or meet them for the first time, you feel that instant connection with them that you guys have shared the same thing. And to an extent, you guys know each other, know something about each other, even though it’s not on a personable level, but it’s on a shared experience level.
3 (33m 57s):
I remember reading this one article and it was talking about how let’s say, you know, you are standing in line and here in California, you would never really talk to the person next to you because they’re just a stranger. But then let’s say you find yourself in Germany, just another country. And then you meet someone from Arkansas and immediately you have a connection because you guys are both from the United States. Whereas before hand in the United States, you guys would have never talked to each other. And then imagine being in that same line in Germany and finding out someone is from California or someone is from your city, you know, it’s just, it’s such a small world. So when you do travel and you find someone from your country or your state or your city, then you immediately have something in common with this person that you would have never had in common in your actual state.
4 (34m 41s):
I remember when I was in Thailand, it’s a lot of Australians and people from the UK who are traveling there. So it was actually pretty rare to hear an American accent. And when we did, it was exactly that. It was like, oh my gosh, you’re from America. Where do you live? And like, we instantly had a connection because of that reason alone.
3 (34m 58s):
And isn’t it so funny, you would never talk to that person otherwise in the United States,
4 (35m 3s):
2 (35m 4s):
Moving on another benefit of travel and how it’s going to change your life is the mental and psychological aspects that you gained from Travel.
6 (35m 13s):
Travel has made me so much more resourceful. I have learned so much while traveling. I’ve learned how to travel independently, figure out my own schedule, how to get from point a to point B with like limited cell service or public transportation. And it just makes you so much more responsible and independent and you learn to trust yourself so much more when you’ve traveled the world individually, or with just a small group,
3 (35m 43s):
You just know that, wow, look what I can handle. So you just feel like on top of the world that you can handle anything.
6 (35m 49s):
First international trip that I did, a lot of the planning for was hiking, the Inca trail and being in Cusco, Peru, that was probably like the first time I’ve really planned an international trip. And I think it went off pretty well. Jamal prior to that had done most of the organization for us. And then when we were in Japan, gosh, how many of us were there? There was seven of us. And I planned pretty much, I would say 95% of that trip by myself for seven people. And it’s just like, my God, I’m so independent and so responsible. And you just feel like you can really figure it out and get around without much help any way.
2 (36m 28s):
You know, it seems really silly talking about like planning a trip and Brittany over here sounding like she’s pulled up for a big girl panties, you know, like, oh, I have accomplished it. No, I know, but it’s really, It’s really silly until you’ve actually planned something like that and have to figure out, oh, okay, like I’m here in this country. How does the transportation work? What do I got to take? How do I get from point a to point B, et cetera, et cetera. It’s a lot of work. And it just gives you that confidence as an everyday basic life skill that you could either bring to your normal profession at work, or even you as a person is just like, okay, I did this and I can actually relate this to my everyday life and apply it here and just make you a better person in that way as well.
3 (37m 13s):
Yeah. I mean, I remember being in, I was going through Europe. This is 2010. So about 10 years ago and I change of plans. So that’s fine. I adopted very quickly. But through those change of plans, it dropped me off at a train station in Southern Germany. And I was trying to get to Stuttgart Germany. Now this was such a small town that no one really spoke English because I was trying to figure out what train do I want to get on? Because their machines were German only. And I don’t speak German. And I’m like, oh my gosh, how do I know where I’m going? How do I know what to buy? And so I went into the local stores and I was asking if anyone spoke English because I needed help. No one spoke any English. So even if they wanted to help me really, they couldn’t.
3 (37m 54s):
And so finally I went back to the train station and I tried my hardest to figure it out. And you know what? I figured it out. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what I did. Probably someone helped me, but you’re so resourceful and you have to figure it out. There’s no sitting down thinking I can’t do it because that’s not an option.
2 (38m 11s):
Failure’s not an option and travel. Huh. Just gotta really persist and do it.
4 (38m 17s):
There’s some variation of a famous quote that goes something along the lines of, you don’t know your own strength until you’re forced to be that strong. And this is the same thing with travel. Like you have to figure it out. So you do, and then you realize you can do it. And it’s very empowering. Yeah. I also think that it really, you how to not be so dependent on your phone, Brittany was talking about this earlier, when you’re not having cell service. And now it’s nice to disconnect. But along with being an empowered, it shows you that you don’t need your phone for every little thing. You don’t need to Google this. You don’t need to search on Yelp for the best restaurant. You can simply walk around and find it. Talk to people, ask for restaurant recommendations, like talk to the local, look at the signs.
4 (38m 60s):
3 (39m 1s):
One of the best examples is when Kim and I were in Cuba, there was no internet whatsoever. And so even when you’re staying at Airbnbs, it’s not like you go into someone’s house and they have internet. Even the locals don’t have internet in their house. You have to buy phone cards and you have to go to an internet park. Yes, that is right park outside. That’s where people go to use wifi on their wifi cards. So there we are a week in Cuba and we didn’t use our phones except to take pictures. And it’s a completely different experience when you’re sitting down with people and you can’t use your phones and you’re really forced to have conversations. And it was just such an interesting experience. And Kim, I think like she said it best, I forgot what it was that you said, but basically like, wow, life is really nice when you don’t have your phone
4 (39m 48s):
Along those same lines of not having your phone and realizing what you can do without it travel in general. For me, at least, I know that when I travel, it makes me feel like anything is possible. Oh, I want to go ride camels and Dubai done. I’m doing it. I want to go to Italy and walk amongst these Roman ruins. Boom, it’s done. It’s like things feel closer and not so unattainable as if like you’re here. Like it seems so far away, so much work so expensive when you actually do it. It feels like you can, and you are. And, and that translates into other parts of your life too.
3 (40m 26s):
It also broadens your options and possibilities of what you can do in the world. So you can have job opportunities abroad. I personally, I went to school abroad. I did have an opportunity to work abroad as well, but I didn’t do it because the pay was so low. But in hindsight, I wish I took the job because even though the pay was low, I would get a lot more out of it. Just being able to practice my language skills in that country. So that’s a little bit of a regret of mine, but just, there’s so much opportunity and possibilities. And when you learn a new language, it opens you up to a new world, the way that people can express things. Sometimes it’s just even more beautiful than in English. And just, I mean, I can’t even describe it.
3 (41m 7s):
It’s just a completely different world when you speak another language.
2 (41m 11s):
Yeah. And also traveling is a really, really humbling experience. And one of the most humbling ways I can describe it as you know, you’re in another country, you come back home and to an extent, you really just see how different things are than here in the United States. Now I’m not going to sit here and say some aspects of traveling outside of the United States and certain cultural norms. I don’t find to be more intriguing and better, but when you come back here and you really see all the luxuries and amenities we have and what homes look like compared to other people’s homes and not that their homes are bad, they’re just not built at such a grand scale. As here in the United States, they don’t have all the options to like different cars.
2 (41m 52s):
You know, it’s like consumerism glory over here, which is nice. And we like those things, but then you see the simplicity that people have over there and live by. And they embrace the simple lifestyle because that’s what they have versus what we have over here. So it’s really just humbling to see how other people live and how it creates their mindset and who they are as a people in a culture.
3 (42m 15s):
Yeah. I mean, listen to our Inca trail episode, I cried in that one when I was talking about, when we said thank you to our porters on the Inca trail. And I cried there as well. Like it just really opens your eyes to just the opportunities that you have available to you in your own home country. That a lot of other people don’t have.
6 (42m 34s):
And like when we were in east Latini and we got to see what their traditional huts look like, it was just so humbling to see how they lived. But also it was so nice to see how happy they were and how they are a community. And they live through their like song and their dance and their extracurricular activities where home life is important, but their community is so much more important than just themselves.
3 (42m 56s):
So another thing that’s going to change you through travel is it’s going to help you bust through barriers. What do we mean by that?
2 (43m 4s):
Several things. One, I just want to say age isn’t a barrier. And what I mean by that is anybody could travel at any age. And I’m not saying people that are seriously ill can go out, but just as a reference to our friends that we talked about, that we made on the Inca trail, Jen and David, they’re an older couple and a lot of their trips are hiking trips. I mean, we met them on the Inca trail. They’re definitely older.
6 (43m 32s):
They were celebrating one of them turning 50.
2 (43m 35s):
Yeah. And then very recently we just saw them and they were posting photos too. About a, what was it? Five, six day hike through the Alps in Europe, starting in Shawmanee France, working to Switzerland or something like that, like five days. And they’re out there hiking all on their own and coming across a little bed and breakfasts along the way. And it’s like, age is no barrier to exploring the world and traveling, if you want to make it a priority and you want to do it, which they do. And it’s really inspiring for me. Somebody younger to be like, wow, I need to keep up with that. When I’m that age and be doing that,
3 (44m 12s):
I was 20 years old. When I traveled by myself for the first time you can do it at any age, younger, old,
6 (44m 18s):
You know, I often hear when people ask me, if I married, I always say yes, then their next question is, do you have kids? And I always say no. And I typically follow that with, I like to travel. And everyone says, yeah, you should travel. Now. You can’t travel later with kids. But when we do travel, we do see families traveling with their kids. And it’s just so inspiring to see that they’re busting through those barriers that you can travel with kids. Additionally, my dad and mom moved from Guam to the United States with a 12 year old, a two year old and a newborn. So you can move with kids, Jamal, your family moved to what?
6 (44m 57s):
3 (44m 58s):
I was two weeks old when I took my first flight.
6 (45m 2s):
But those are barriers. Like people don’t see that you can move with kids. You can travel with kids and traveling just is gonna broaden who you are so much more and people see all of those stereotypes and get intimidated, but stereotypes shouldn’t intimate.
2 (45m 17s):
Yeah. You know, I honestly, and again, none of us here have kids to say otherwise, but I feel like the people who say travel now before you have kids are people who really haven’t actually traveled. Because a lot of people that I know that travel that have kids take their kids with them. And as a reference, somebody who works in my building, she’s actually the property manager for the building. She’s definitely an older lady. Her son married has children. I can’t tell you how many times I talked to her and she tells me about the travels of her son. Like, oh, they just went to Fiji for Christmas and they take their child along with them. And they’re always traveling and they have a little girl who’s five years old. So it’s definitely doable.
2 (45m 58s):
But my favorite thing about traveling is busting through stereotypes because it really opens your eyes to how we see things in a bubble where we live. And I’m not just saying this as Americans, anybody who’s listening to this podcast in another country, we see the world through the lens in which we live in and you go to other countries and you realize that all stereotypes aren’t necessarily true. I mean, yes, they may have came from somewhere and have maybe a tinge or hint of truth to it. But that’s a rarity. Whereas most stereotypes aren’t true, such as
3 (46m 34s):
Well. We just came back from Lebanon. And that was well, it still is one of the worst economic crisises that they’re facing. And we were there when riots were taking place when a new government had been announced. So there was a lot of uproar and a huge uprising and revolution going on right now, but it was safe because the riots were only happening in a certain part of town. And you knew where it was going to happen. And before it was going to happen because it was posted
2 (47m 3s):
Well, even beyond just that talking about Lebanon, being in the middle east or even Dubai, you know, you have the misconception that, oh, the really conservative countries, ultra religious. And not to say that some people there aren’t, but Lebanon’s a middle Eastern country where women don’t have to cover up. For example, you know, there’s an even majority like Christians to Muslims. So just because you hear a certain places and they have this mentality, or you think they’re ultra conservative, doesn’t necessarily make it true. Another stereotype that we always like to myth bust is Mexico. And it’s one of our favorites because it’s right here at our Southern border, you know, I live three miles away from it. And Mexico is a major stereotype that gets bust through.
3 (47m 45s):
No, we’re not saying that like it’s a hundred percent safe, but there are certain areas that are going through crisis. And there’s a lot of areas that are not,
6 (47m 53s):
I mean, I feel like that’s anywhere in the United States too, is like, there are so many different neighborhoods that you shouldn’t walk through. And no one talks about them when they’re traveling to the United States. Like if you stay safe and you stay out of those unsafe regions, you’re going to be fine.
3 (48m 8s):
The other bust through barrier that we want to talk about is that it just makes you more educated on the world history.
4 (48m 16s):
I learned so much about world history and Arab history. When we were on this latest trip to Lebanon, like so much stuff that I never learned in school, I would never really get the knowledge that I did without having been there and hearing it from the people that I heard it from there.
2 (48m 33s):
Yeah. Even, you know, Kim is using Lebanon as an example. It’s a good one, but any country you go to and go to a tour, like even as an example, Brittany, and I’s latest European trip. When we were on the Adriatic coast in Europe, when we went to Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, they all used to be one country, had a civil war broke up and you hear about it in the news because it was relatively recent. You know, at the time that we were alive, they sell them, teach it in the history books. And if they do, it’s not in depth, but when you really hear a local talk about it or you’re on a tour, like you really just get a better understanding. And my favorite thing is, and like I said, you know, on the last subject, when we were talking about myth-busting, you know, certain stereotypes or misconceptions of other places, we truly see things through the lens in which we live.
2 (49m 22s):
And when you travel, you’re able to see it through another person’s lens. Now it doesn’t mean that it’s right or wrong from your lens or theirs, but at least gives you that open-mindedness to see their perspective and where they’re coming from and understand their human emotion behind a way they believe, think, or feel.
3 (49m 40s):
But another thing too is like when you guys came back from your Eastern European vacation, when we were doing the podcast, that was the first time that Kim and I were hearing about it. And Kim made the comment, did you know, mother Teresa is from Albania. And I said, no shit. I had no idea. I grew up hearing about mother Teresa seen mother Teresa, all that stuff, but you didn’t know. Wow. She comes from Albania, like fascinating stuff.
6 (50m 2s):
Yeah. I learned so much when I travel, I’m going to be 100% honest world history and any history in general, those are not my subjects. I am terrible at history. I just feel like there’s just a whole bunch of facts on a piece of paper with some dates apply to them, not my subject at all. It’s just a whole bunch of dates and some facts thrown on a piece of paper, but when you’re there and you’re walking through ruins, or when you see artifacts or you’re learning about famous people that come from those places, I really absorb it. And it resonates with me. And those are things I’m not going to forget. So I learned so much more about world history when I traveled
2 (50m 39s):
Any other final thoughts, ladies, on How Travel Has Changed you or you feel it will change our listeners.
3 (50m 46s):
I feel like a lot of this stuff until you travel, it just makes a lot more sense. Once you do, you really, really, really understand where this is coming from and it just really enriches your soul. And we can’t express that enough or encourage you enough to go out and explore the world and realize how small it really is.
4 (51m 6s):
Very well said.
2 (51m 7s):
Yeah, for me, I would just want to say like truly traveling will make you a global citizen. Not that we’re still not going to be proud of where we come from at our own countries and have that sort of pride, but it just really makes you a global citizen. And the first segment, when we were talking about just cultural differences and going over those little things that we didn’t really touch about how that will change you, but it goes back to what you were saying, Dana, like once you have that experience, you’ll understand what we mean by those little things and how from those, you can really understand the people and their culture and it just gives you greater appreciation for what you’re seeing, what you’re experiencing.
3 (51m 47s):
Exactly. So I don’t know, guys, I’m just, I’m so grateful for our experiences collectively as a group and the fact that we do what we do.
2 (51m 55s):
All right, guys. All right, ladies. I think it’s that time.
3 (51m 60s):
2 (51m 60s):
3 (52m 1s):
8 (52m 3s):
6 (52m 5s):
2 (52m 9s):
We, yeah, I’m liking our little acapella going into it. You got a nice little flow. Now
6 (52m 15s):
The first question we have is what’s a great travel location that you’ve been to, that you feel is underrated or that not many people go to
3 (52m 23s):
Lebanon. That’s a good one.
2 (52m 25s):
I’m going to agree with that. And probably maybe slightly biased opinion because we are Lebanese and by we, I mean me and Zaina, but at the same time we just got back from this trip. It’s fresh on my mind, but it truly, definitely is a very underrated location and
3 (52m 40s):
No bias whatsoever, man. Seriously, it really is that great.
2 (52m 44s):
I had a great time and I know you ladies had a great time when we were there too.
6 (52m 48s):
Yeah, we did. Another place I would say is Slovenia. I had a really, really great time. It had so much natural beauty. I just don’t hear people talk about it a lot. Like blood is beautiful and I would even say another travel location I’ve been to that. It feels underrated is the Philippines. Like people talk about wanting to go there, but not a lot of people actually go.
4 (53m 9s):
I also think Arkansas is very underrated.
2 (53m 11s):
Oh, no way to pull one from our backyard here in the United States, Arkansas was beautiful and very
4 (53m 16s):
Nasty Arkansas. It was a hoot.
6 (53m 19s):
3 (53m 20s):
It was a hoot one that I keep pushing on you guys that we haven’t gone just yet, but I
6 (53m 25s):
3 (53m 26s):
Oh, I wish I did let you get, I’m sorry. They came out too fast.
6 (53m 30s):
I was going to say chat to mall.
3 (53m 31s):
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. I do think that yeah, people go to Cancun and they pay all this money for those resorts, but really you can go down to check the mall, which is the last city right before the border and then Mexico last city in Mexico, right before the border of beliefs. And you can fly in there and then take a bus a little bit north, maybe like 20, 30 minutes north. And there’s a lot and it’s on a seven color lagoon and it’s this amazing place. No, one’s there because they’re all up in Cancun. So it’s super cheap, but it’s just as beautiful.
2 (54m 3s):
All right. The next question that we got is do you have to be rich to travel the
4 (54m 8s):
World? Oh, you know, I’m super rich. You guys laugh. No, the answer’s no, you don’t. If you’ve been listening to this podcast, which of course you have been, you know, that we’re not rich people like we’re, we’re comfortable. We’re not struggling necessarily, but we also really maximize our trips to get the most for the least and have been able to manage some very reasonably priced trips that are amazing.
6 (54m 39s):
China was a very reasonably priced trip. So it was Lebanon.
3 (54m 42s):
It’s really all about where you place value. You’re going to spend money where you find value. So, you know, I would encourage you to take a look at your expenses and see how much money you’re spending on alcohol or eating out. And I’m not hating cause I love to eat out and I love alcohol. But if you look to see how much you’re spending versus how much it would cost, you can see that you can make a little bit of a balance or some changes. Another thing too is people are so quick to say, oh, I don’t do that. It’s too expensive. And if you are the person who asked us, if you have to be rich, I would encourage you to do the research on how much it costs to do the trip that you want. And you’ll probably find out that if you do your research and look for deals and whatnot, it’s not going to be as much as you really think it is
2 (55m 25s):
Very well said.
4 (55m 26s):
All right, that’s all we have for you this week. Thank you for tuning into this week’s episode to keep the adventures going, please be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast and tag us in all of your adventures. And of course send this in those questions. Absolutely.
3 (55m 40s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful thought we were just playing funny or life-changing please share it with a friends that would enjoy it too.
2 (55m 49s):
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6 (55m 55s):
I’m super excited for next week, because next week we are staying in our backyard exploring it. So make sure to pack your bags and your hiking gear, because we are going to share with you the must do hikes in San Diego.
2 (56m 9s):