THE SILLY LITTLE KIWI TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY

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PUT SIMPLY, I, TARA, BELIeVE IN travel with a purpose and exploring ANY DESTINATION AS THOROUGHLY AS POSSIBLE. 

This means moving slowly, engaging with locals to understand the culture and customs of a place, and taking the back roads.  

I believe that travel is the utmost privilege. Travel takes money, time, and {sometimes} a passport-- all of which a great number of people do not have. 

I believe that you've never truly marked a country off your list. There is always something you've missed. Always something left to discover. Returning to a country isn't "wasting precious vacation days", and that attitude is exactly what creates rat races that exist on social media to get to the next trendy travel destination of the moment.

I believe that the slower you travel the more you'll understand the culture, customs, and people of a place-- which will ultimately culminate in a richer experience. 

I believe that you won't fall in love with every country you land in, but its imperative that you put on a good attitude and try to understand it as best as you can. In turn, you understand yourself a bit better. For instance, I don't love China, but knowing that for certain gives me insight about myself and the things, places, and people I do love. I also understand China better than I did before. I understand existing reputations and even have a better grasp on where they come from. 

I believe that everyone, travel influencers included, should care less about capturing the perfect picture and more about experiencing the moment for exactly what it is. I have more photos of myself with pollution-induced acne and unbrushed hair {see above} than is ideal. But those candids capture the essence of the experience. Travel is often dirty, uncomfortable, and messy. In that way, it's a reflection of the human experience and life itself. 

I believe that you should always try the local cuisine in a hole-in-the-wall establishment at least once on every trip. Locally run cooking classes are also great. 

I believe that you shouldn't be afraid to go anywhere, but that you should always be aware of your surroundings and your company. 

I believe that adventure travel is a great way to learn what you're actually afraid of. Bungee jumping, skydiving, rock-climbing-- these experiences all taught me about more than just my physical abilities. I'm not afraid of heights or free falling-- my fears are much weightier than that. 

I believe that traveling will show you how resourceful, strong-willed, and brave you are. 

More than anything, I truly believe that people make a place. Get to know locals, make new friends, go exploring with your loved ones. Traveling solo can be liberating and fantastic, but there is richness to be found in sharing experiences in new places.