The travel world is made up of hundreds of different types of people from everywhere. People travel. More than you probably think. And in more ways than you might have realized. Over the years I certainly have learned of creative ways people travel that I never even thought about!
This feature is a place for travelers of all types to share their story. How do you travel? What type of upbringing did you have? What led you to decide you’d like to have travel in your life? Do you come from a family of travelers or are you the first one to really break the mold? What drives you to get up and go to work so you can fund your travels?
Hearing people’s travel stories is one of my favorite things to do when I am on the road. No two people have the same background or the same travel style. And there are so many different ways people work and save for travel! If you would like to be featured and share YOUR STORY please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And with that, let’s meet this week featured traveler –
Hi, my name is: Dale Golden. I TRAVEL. This is my story.
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and where did you grow up?
Hi! My name is Dale Golden. I am 23 years old and was born and raised in downtown Chicago, IL, USA. Chicago is also currently my place of residence, but will ALWAYS be my home.
Do you come from a family of travelers? Summer vacations? No vacations?
My mom loves to travel. Growing up we would take some vacations mainly to places in the US, but when I was 13 we did a cruise in The Bahamas, which was awesome! Mostly my travels with family growing up were located in the Midwest, but we went elsewhere to visit family like grandparents and cousins and for the occasional business-trip-turned-short-family-vacation.
When did you start traveling?
The trip that gave me the travel bug was also when I was 13 when I traveled with my eighth grade class to Israel as our graduation trip. Growing up I had really bad separation anxiety from my mom, but this trip was the first time I traveled without her. The first few days were difficult, and I kept calling to come home, but in the end I had such an incredible experience! Since then, I’ve loved going to new places and visiting familiar ones!
What is your travel style? Do you maximize all your vacation time from a job? Do you just quit jobs to travel? Are you able to work remotely? Are you a weekend warrior who maximizes their time?
Typically, I travel for short periods of time to anywhere from 1-4 countries, and usually over a school break or with an organized trip. However, this year I did a solo 5-month backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, Nepal, England, and Iceland. I was working part-time and had about 6 months before I needed to be back in the US for family and academic commitments, so it was easy for me to just pick up and go. It was the first time I had done anything like that, but really enjoyed it! I also tend to get bored when I stay in one place for too long, so traveling to many places in a short period of time is best for me.
How do you fund your travels?
I started working professionally when I was 12 years old, and from monetary gifts over the years and working in high school and college, I was able to save a good amount of money. I was very fortunate to have a stable home life and family to support me so I didn’t need to pull from my funds unless it was for something that I really wanted- like travel! I also make a point to be smart with my money like investing it to see more growth with my funds than if I just kept it in a bank.
What has been one of your favorite travel experiences?
I really cannot say a favorite out of all of the amazing places I’ve been. I think what has been most moving for me are the connections I create to my past and present from travel. I’ve been able to connect to family that are deceased through travel, and have also been able to solidify my career and grad school plans and goals through travel. Traveling has also taught me a lot about myself and who I want to be and with whom I want to surround myself. I’m still young and am still making mistakes and learning, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how connected I feel to humanity through traveling.
What is a next destination you are so excited to see?
I really want to visit Central and South America next! Who knows, maybe I’ll do another solo trip or maybe I’ll find a buddy this time! I’m not sure when I’ll go, but that’s definitely where I want to travel to next.
What words of wisdom do you wish to share with other people who are wanting to include more travel in their lives?
I recognize that I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to take this trip- both financially and personally. Foreign travel, long-term travel, and solo travel are not for everyone and also not possible for everyone. It is most important to figure out what is right for you and to work towards that goal. If traveling is something that you desire, many people travel later in life so never feel like it is an unobtainable goal- if you think positive thoughts, I firmly believe the universe will help you find ways to achieve what you desire. If you are a couple, I think traveling together teaches you more than living together: it is one thing to know how you respond to each other but so much more to see how you individually respond to adversity and then support each other through it. If you are traveling alone, there is no greater strength than to be comfortable, content, and reliant with/on yourself. However, it is most important in this life to reach for whatever makes you happy; it is a duty to ourselves that we so often forget to put first.
Author Bio: I am a Chicago-native who loves animals, traveling, helping others, and serendipitous moments. I am an old soul and love learning about people. My goals are to obtain a PhD in Clinical/Clinical Community Psychology and eventually help communities world-wide in culturally appropriate ways while researching the intersections between gender, trauma, oppression, and power.
** Plan on traveling soon or making a purchase from Amazon? Please consider using the links on our resource page. At no cost difference to you we will earn a small commission to help keep this site running. Thank you so much for this thoughtful gesture.