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As I stepped off the plane it felt different, there was an overcast but everyone was still smiling and about their business. It was a calmness that came over me as I walked through the airport, it didn't matter that I had a migraine just waiting to rear it's ugly head, it didn't matter that I would probably exceed my traveling budget, it didn't even matter if I gained a few pounds from eating an abundance of seafood and pizza. All that mattered in that moment as I entered the airport was that I was somewhere different, away from home, away from ignorant people who worry more about what clothes they are wearing and what their title is, oppose to just enjoying the life around them. 

I was in my element, creativity was all around me, open minded people who didn't seem to participate in so much group think. I was away from home, but home!

I now understand how freeing the mind works. It's somewhere in between not giving a fuck and creating the lifestyle "you" want to live. 

Traveling. I've learned that taking a few trips a year is vital to ones sanity. Not only does it give you the chance to take in great scenery and meet new people but it assists in expanding the mind from every day life. See life is not what we think it's all about in our one city, in our small state out of the millions of towns, cities, states, countries and provinces around this world. Traveling helps you understand that you are one drop of water in an ocean of people, different people, not all racist, ignorant, harmful or dangerous to this society. 

Travel gives you the opportunity to learn, to unlearn, to register what this world is all about. Change who you are, I dare you to be different, to live freely by your own rule... it's possible and the new you is waiting on the old you to let you live. 

This trip didn't only show me a different perspective but it showed me who my real friends are and what real friends act and look like, what family is suppose to do together and that's a lot of smiling and enjoying each others company.

Friendship is often a term thrown around just as loosely as love these days and that's unfair to the 1/2 of the party that is truly treating the other like a friend. Friends don't lend money and ask for it back, friends don't charge for allowing you to sleep on the couch, friends do pay what they owe, friends don't hold you back from living, friends don't say one thing and do another. I learned that on this trip. Some will say, "You should've already known that," and maybe I should have but often times we allow the ones closest to us, to walk all over us without reprimand. 

(Photo by: Team Howard Photography)

(Photo by: Team Howard Photography)

Who are your "friends?" (Think about it.)

As I prepare myself to submit this entry, I now welcome the freed mind mentality. I'm scared of change but I embrace it. I'm scared of my own success because failure has to happen often along the way. But most of all I'm thankful for my "true" friends and family.