Travel Tips – Less Stuff and More Travel – More Happiness

Shortly after moving to Austin, TX in 1999 I began daytrading with a proprietary trading firm and spent six years daytrading. I did little travel during that time, a few North American destinations including my annual trip to Calgary to visit family but no international travel. I was making steady money but not a lot of money. The last few months I wasn’t making any money so I turned back to bookkeeping to earn a living.

When my bookkeeping business started to get busy I booked a two-week vacation because I figured that I wouldn’t have the time to travel while I was building the business. I chose to go to Istanbul because I had never been there and I wanted to go someplace exotic. And I had some frequent flyer miles to use up.

In June 2008 little did I know that in a few short months the stock market and the economy would topple and my bookkeeping business dropped in half.

More Travel Less Stuff

I spent 2009 slowly building up the business and tried to incorporate more travel into my life. I took a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a couple of friends in the summer. I returned to Istanbul in the fall and from there traveled to Cappadocia in central Turkey.

I realized that the happiest times in my life involved travel. If I added more travel to my life I would add more happiness and well-being. I decided that I would make travel a priority in my life. I would spend less money on stuff and more money on travel instead.

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Happy to visit Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

In 2010 I traveled to Istanbul Turkey, Marrakech Morocco, and took a week-long road trip to West Texas to see Big Bend National Park, Marfa, and Fort Davis Observatory.

In 2011 I traveled to China with a study abroad class  from Austin Community College visiting Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. I visited Montreal & Quebec City for the first time, as well as Buenos Aires Argentina.

2012 my travels took me to Cartagena Colombia, Manzanillo Costa Rica, and back to Colombia again in December to spend Christmas in Bogotá & Medellin, and New Year’s in Cartagena.

More Travel Less Stuff More Happiness

In 2013 I was on travel hold but I didn’t mind. I was fortunate to have time to help out my mom when she had knee replacement surgery at the end of July. I spent 10 days in Calgary and became her nurse for the first few days out of surgery. Other family members took over afterwards and she had a speedy and very successful recovery.

In early July I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Montreal to attend a few days of the 35th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal and a visit with my Aunt Heather. I also returned to Calgary in October to visit with my family and see my mom fully recovered from her surgery.

It was during the summer of 2013 that I seriously began looking into starting my travel blog. I wanted to keep an online journal that I could share with others. People ask about my travels and the blog gives me a place to share and interact with people.

I had wanted to start a blog for a long time but I hadn’t decided to and so it hadn’t happened yet. An interesting thing happens when one is no longer satisfied with ‘wanting to’ and makes the leap to ‘deciding to’ do something. Plans begin to form and things start to happen.

I started the planning and learning process during the summer. I am one of those people who enjoy research and planning so although it was a lot of work for someone with no technical background I did enjoy the challenge and the learning process. I expect this blog will be a continuous work in progress as well as an exercise in continuous improvement.

Looking to 2014 travels I am planning a monthly road trip, my annual trip to Calgary of course, and some more international travel. Not sure where to yet but I’ll post the plans once I get them sorted out. The places that are attracting my wanderlust at the moment are Iran, Japan, Portugal, and Spain.

Where do you want to travel to next? Go see the world, add some travel to your life and gain some happiness!

About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter


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  1. KVVS MURTHY says:

    I like the sand pictures very much….Travelling alone is something being at peace.If India is your next place,you are welcome.

  2. Melissa says:

    Hi there Susan, I’m so very happy I found your blog. I have been reading and enjoying the content for the last hour and it’s making me feel much more confident about my recent decision to travel solo to Barcelona for a month in March. I bought the National Geographic Walking Tour book and can’t wait for the adventure. So, just wanted to say Thanks – from one solo traveller to another. Cheers!

    • Susan Moore says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks so much for your comment, it means a lot to me! Barcelona is a wonderful city for solo travelers, I hope you will love it as much as I did! The NatGeo book is pretty good – I used it as a resource when planning my outings but didn’t carry it around with me. I am excited to be going back to Barcelona this year at the end of April! I am attending a travel bloggers conference in Costa Brava but will spend a few days ahead of the conference in Barcelona. Thinking about Barcelona makes me happy :)
      Happy travels!

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