Beyond Inspiration: Lacey in the City

Friends, remember last week and the introduction of my new series "Beyond Inspiration"? Welp, I have another fabulous blogger here today! Lacey of Lacey in the City is here to talk a bit about how her passion for traveling first began and how she keeps it alive.

1. Could you explain a bit about your passion for traveling? How did it start?
I have to say that I've never known an immobile life.  Ever since I can remember, my mom would decide to pack the family in the car and drive from South Carolina to Southern Florida to visit my paternal grandparents, or to Central Kentucky to visit my maternal grandparents.  There were many Christmases that we drove from South Carolina all the way to Boston to spend the holidays with my dad's brother and sister.  (That's about a 17 hour drive, in case you were wondering!)  Also, my mom's job when I was growing up involved her traveling all up and down the eastern seaboard working at jewelry trade shows, etc., so during the summer or on long weekends, she would take me and/or my sisters along with her so that we could get to see new places around the country.  I remember specifically heading to Gainesville, Georgia with her one time and falling in love with the Southern States all over again.  Spanish moss, antebellum homes, sweet iced tea...heavenly.

Then in the summer of 2000 (I was 13), my mom planned a nine week road trip around the country.  We lived in Kentucky at that point, so we drove all the way across the southerly part of the Central and Western United States (through Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona) until we got to LA.  Once we got as far West as we could, we drove due North to Seattle.  Once we hit Seattle, we turned back East and headed home across Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Nebraska on our way back to Kentucky.  That was such a priceless experience for me - I honestly am not sure I would have the same sense of adventure or frame of mind that I do had it not been for that trip. 

My dad was also a huge proponent of traveling as much as we could, so he promised my little sister and me that he'd send us to Europe once we graduated from high school like he had with my older sister when she graduated.  My dad sadly passed away a couple of months before the end of my senior year, but he made good on his promise by leaving money set aside for my mom, two sisters, and me to take off to Europe for six weeks and have a trip of a lifetime.  Fifteen countries later, my mindset and sense of adventure were once again changed for the better and for good.

Fast forward a few years, and my mom had moved us to California.  (That's a long story, but you can read about it here.)  I started working in the Fashion Industry here in LA when I was 16, and during my senior year of high school, one of my bosses asked me to fly to New York for a week to work Fashion Market Week.  Thank gosh my mom looked at the offer as a bigger picture thing, because she let me miss a week of school to go get my first dose of Manhattan.  It was all a snowball from there.  I ended up working for a few different designers over the years, and for each of them, my job saw me traveling all over the country to visit accounts and work Fashion Markets.

2. What inspires you to continue seeking out adventures? What keeps you moving?

There are two quotes that I've come across that have stuck with me over the years.  One of them is "I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world," and the other reads, "We know the world, by knowing people."  Both are so simple but ring so true. 

You know how they say that you need to stand in someone else's shoes to see things from a different perspective?  As true as that is, I think it's equally as - if not more - important to make sure you stand in your own shoes in the most far-away destinations as you can find.  The more you immerse yourself in the way other people live, love, worship, dine, celebrate, etc., the more open your eyes and your mind will be.  So to me, becoming more learned about other people and places leaves me with the desire to still see more.  Along that thought, one of the things I personally love is being able to come across someone that is from some obsure town in North Dakota or the panhandle of Oklahoma and being able to identify with them and tell them I know the town or area that they are from - that I've even been there!

3. Logistically, what sacrifices do you make or what steps do you take to turn this want/need into the actual "I'm walking out the door and getting on a plane" moment?

I have two answers to this question, because my travel is not all for pleasure - in fact, more often than not these days, it is for work. 

When I travel for work, I definitely sacrifice time from my personal life.  I go a couple of weeks without seeing my family or my best friends, and I don't love that part of it.  It's very important to me to focus on and nurture my personal relationships, because the people in my world are my priority.  Life wouldn't be as amazing as it is without them, hands down.  So when I'm home, I find myself being pretty social, even when I'm tired, trying to make sure I get to see the people that mean the most to me. 

When I travel for pleasure, I think the main thing that we all have to plan around and figure out is how to fund our trips.  The other issue I run into is setting aside a week or weekend that I can get away from work and from home responsibilities.  My answer to both of those issues though is that if your money and time are tight, take day trips!  No matter where you live, there is cool stuff within proximity to you that you need to get out there and see!  I live in Los Angeles, so back in April, I drove with my sister and a friend the 3 hours to Joshua Tree National Forest.  And last weekend, I was crunched on time between work trips, so I set off to San Francisco (it's only 6 hours north of LA) for two days to see friends! 

If you are feeling like you are lacking adventure in your life, I insist that you sit down right now with a map and write down all of the interesting places (cities, national parks, monuments, rivers, etc.) that are within a six hour drive from your home.  And then take action!

4. How does traveling make you a more fuller version of you? How does it contribute to a more complete you?

I think this goes back to the quotes I mentioned about.  I am an empathetic person by nature, but having been able to see and experience as much as I have makes me feel like I have a deeper understanding of people and cultures. 

Ok so now that you know how lovely she is, stop by Lacey in the City and read all about her life and travels. I looooove her idea of writing down places within 6 hours. I think I ought to head to St. Louis and Milwaukee. Anyone joining? No? Ok, so tell me ladies, where are you headed??
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  1. Great post! It's great to get to know more about Lacey. The two quotes really ring true. Although I may not travel out of the state or country often. I definitely take advantage of the beauty around Central Texas. Daytrips are my best friend!

  2. I've been reading Lacey's blog for a long time, now! Fun feature. :) I found your blog through Traffic Jelly--clicked on your link because I love the design of her blog. And yours is just as pretty--you are so talented!

  3. Thank you so much for having me, Em!!

  4. Happy birthday, Emily! I found you from your sister's blog and I'm following which means you now have 100 followers! :)

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