Zipkick Bloggers: Christina Leigh Morgan from Currently Exploring
Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
The first trip after I left my sales job to pursue travel was to meet a friend in Aruba, and while she was in meetings I took a horseback tour to Conchi, a natural pool. Everyone was shocked I was there alone, and instantly opened their groups to chat with me along the way. When we arrived, I first sat on the rim, and watching the sheer joy in people’s faces as they jumped off natural volcanic rocks into this beautiful body of water under the Caribbean sun — the genuine, true, laughter, bliss and camaraderie among this group of strangers, sharing this experience together — was moving.
Of the many inherent traits people lose sight of in the bustle of societies, community is the most important. Aruba is a lush example, but travel helps bring that back.
If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
All of the things! I’ve always dreamed of owning a little shop in retirement, where I’d curate artisanal goods from local communities I’d connected with around the world, sharing the stories with people who came through, and donating back to support the needs of the makers. Then I wondered why I was waiting, so I’m putting the wheels motion to add that to my blog now. I’d do everything I needed to build that in a sustainable way, because I have new ideas all the time, and then I’d have means to support them too.
I was terrified of leaving the stability of the corporate world, I was terrified of stepping onto foreign grounds solo for the first time, I was terrified of jumping off a cliff tied to nothing but a jerry-rigged hook 3,000 feet up Half Dome. This entire past year, I’ve been terrified in my new and unfamiliar territory as a “travel blogger.”
There are no secrets to finding courage. You just have to come to confidence that the choice you’re making is worth the risk, and leap!
What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
Foursquare, Hey Let’s, Lyft (not Uber), TripIt, Camp & RV, Rome2Rio, Skyscanner, Google Flights. Oh, and PlayMemories Mobile, the app that connects my phone to my camera. Critical.
What place do you wish more people have seen?
Specifically for Americans: Kyoto. The discipline, respect and incredible thoughtfulness of Japanese culture permeates the entire country, but is hardest to ignore in Kyoto. We could stand to learn a lot from Japan.
Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Don’t ever give up on a dream because of the time it will take to achieve it. The time will pass anyway.
When I made the move to San Francisco, I arrived with two suitcases, no job, big dreams and plans to pay half of my friend’s rent in her community house for a month while I figured the rest out. The morning after I arrived, when I first met one of her many roommates in the kitchen, I learned she hadn’t shared a lick of this with them. To keep it brief, they weren’t on good terms. It was a house of some pretty alternative lifestyles, and I was an alien to them in every way… but they completely took me in and let me stay. It changed my life.
What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
I’ve always been antsy to go, see, do, explore, but living in San Francisco, diversity was quickly woven deep into the fabric of my day-to-day. Especially through my Aussie roommates and the business world, I became acutely aware of the limits of my perspective, and needed to upgrade as soon as possible! The free-wheeling energy of the city was everything I never knew I needed.
I am a Zipkick blogger because….
Passion and connection are all it takes, and these guys aren’t going to accept mediocrity. The Zipkick community is already so much more than a booking engine, I’m excited to be a part of it!
Christina Leigh Morgan is a San Francisco-based travel blogger, view chaser and digital strategist. Find her exploring, snapping and freelancing her way to the next adventure at currentlyexploring.com.