To some, traveling is a vacation. A break from work, responsibilities, and the hustle and bustle of life. For me, it’s a way of life. I took my first solo international trip when I was 16 years old. I lived in the Dominican Republic with my uncle, Eric, for the summer. My goals for that summer were simple; get a tan (for the first time in my life), eat some good food, and maybe learn how to kite surf. Little did I know that summer would change the way I saw the world forever.
The first four weeks in the Dominican it was just me and my uncle. I quickly caught onto his daily routine; wake up, swim, enjoy the beach, eat at local restaurants, and go to sleep. I was introduced to the local restaurant owners and taught the Dominican way of life. I soon realized the challenges I faced in the United States were petty compared to the hardships people in the Dominican were facing, like not having access to clean water, tourists encroaching on towns, and political corruption just to name a few. This was my first taste of real travel. I felt immersed in Dominican culture and was sharing some of the privileges and challenges they faced on a daily basis. While I had the privilege to live in an area with clean water and produce, the experience opened my eyes to the struggles others living outside of my own bubble face in the world.
Before that trip, my travel experiences included Disney World, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and New York City. While these are all great destinations, and I have fantastic memories from every one of them, the Dominican made me realize I was looking for something more out of travel.
My next long-term trip came seven years later after I graduated from the College of Charleston with my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. My boyfriend - and the “D” in Dolby - David and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime on January 4th, 2016. 50 days, 8 European countries, and 2 backpacks. This trip was not only the conception of Dolby Travels, but also where I truly discovered my love and passion for travel. Waking up in a different country every week, and exploring the culture and routines of locals is invigorating, and every day is a new adventure. About 30 days into the trip we were walking through the streets of Rome, Italy when I brought up the idea of traveling for a living and how much fun it would be. I distinctly remember the excitement we shared at the idea of starting a blog and travel company to inspire people to travel and see the world the way we saw it.
The days that followed were full of brainstorming and ambition, and the promise that we would someday make the commitment and turn our dreams into a reality. Two acceptances into top graduate programs (see About Us for the deets) put our plan on a brief, one year hold...which brings me to today. One month ago David and I stuffed our car full of our dog Sammy and everything we own, road-tripped it across the country, and settled into a beach cottage (read: converted garage studio) on the bluffs of Del Mar, CA. David will be starting a Data Science job shortly, and for me, well, this is it! I have committed myself to Dolby Travels for the foreseeable future and I could not be more excited. You know when people say, "you'll just know?" Well that is exactly how I feel about becoming a full-time blogger and travel consultant. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing at this point in my life, and I couldn’t be more excited.
In the coming weeks you can expect travel guides, tips, and tricks, along with stories from our travels to be posted on the blog. Travel consulting is launching this fall and our first big giveaway (like 7 nights in a luxury resort big) is happening at the end of 2017. We want Dolby Travels to not only be a fun way of sharing our experiences seeing the world, but also a way to inspire as many people as we can to see the world too! No matter the obstacle, we want to help you and your loved ones see what it’s like to live in a different town, state, country, and continent! The world is full of incredible sights and people, and we promise to do everything we can to help you see it first-hand!
Thanks for reading, and I invite you to follow along as we embark on this new adventure together!