I love to travel. Love it. So much. I have trips planned in my mind that won't happen for years. It is not unusual for me to be in the middle of one trip and secretly planning another. I consider myself to be very fortunate in that I have been to some amazing places. Several of my trips have been practically free...I know, I said I consider myself VERY fortunate. The costs associated with travel can be a big deterrent. Were I not in the company of some very fabulous folks, I might never have had the opportunities to travel to exotic locales such as Paris, Chicago, New Orleans and Red Rock Canyon. But even the trips that cost me the most were totally worth it in the end. It's the place you go to in your mind when daily living gets the best of you. It's where you picture yourself for just a moment when you need a tiny escape. For me, it's the day I ate lunch at Le Georges, the restaurant on the roof of the Pompidou Museum in Paris. I was alone and sat at a small table which provided me a panoramic view of the city. Sun shining, breeze blowing, me enjoying a delicious omelet made with just the right amount of butter, sparkling water, a rose on every table....I've relived this in my mind on many occasions. (Follow the link to see images from the museum's webcams)
In tough economic times, setting aside money for travel can be tough. But to me, the return on investment is so worth it. Whether you live your entire year for a week at the beach or you take lots of little vacations periodically, remember to make lots of memories. Because these are what will help tide you over until the next great trip!