Today is the first blog post for The Traveling Lotus!

with my Great-Grandma Pearl
with my Great-Grandma Pearl
my siblings
my siblings

Do you remember the first adventure outside of your hometown, your state or your country?

My first memory traveling outside the state of Wisconsin was driving in a station wagon, for 8 long hours, with my parents and 3 siblings. We would stop at a lookout point in Duluth for a picnic lunch. The view was breathtaking. Lake Superior was the bluest of blue surrounded by more colors of green than I had ever seen.

Every summer we made this journey to see my Great- Grandparents. The cabin we stayed in did have running water in the kitchen, but the "toilet" was in an outhouse in the forest. For a 2 or 3 year old, who only had experience with indoor plumbing, this was a pretty scary experience at night. I was not as brave then as I am now. Apparently I didn't make it to the outhouse one day. So I had to wash off the steps. Hey, at least I was still smiling!

My first adventure out of the country was a road trip to snowmobile in Canada with my Dad and little brother.  I was in 5th grade. The first flight I remember was also this year. I traveled by myself from Appleton, WI to Minneapolis, MN to visit my sister at college. She was attending UW River Falls.  Today I can still feel the excitement, the independence, the butterflies in my stomach and the lump in my throat, as I traveled through the clouds for the first time. Could this be the year I caught the travel bug?

These impressionable trips to Canada and River Falls were in 1985 when Microsoft released the first version of Windows, the total population of the world was 4.85 billion, Ronald Regan was President, the top song was "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie and everyone I knew wanted a Swatch Watch. Some of the best movies from my childhood were released that year, "Back to the Future", "The Goonies" and "Breakfast Club". I also remember singing "Like a Virgin" by Madonna and not really having any idea what that meant.

My, my, how times have changed. The current population of the world is 7.7 billion, only about 3 billion more people, the President of the USA is Donald Trump (no comment), I have no idea what the top song is this year because I don't listen to the radio, do you? The coveted watch is now an iWatch or Fitbit. These “watches” basically know everything about you. I have to confess, I haven't been to a movie theatre in a few months or at all this year. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been my go to with all the traveling I do. Lately I miss the feeling of watching a movie on the big screen. I promise, I will go again soon.

Currently the song that sticks most in my head these days... "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. The reason for this will be revealed below. The good news is I have finally learned what "Like a Virgin" means...

Since 1985 I have traveled around the world and back again. The only continent I need to visit is Antarctica, which I will be planning for 2021 or 2022! Since I left home for the first time I have lived in quite a few places. Do you know how many addresses I have had since graduating high school? I don't, so if you have a list please forward it to me. My family likes to joke that they only write my address in pencil and I think a few of them have given up keeping track all together. Maybe you can say I like adventure, change and new experiences?!










All photos by Jodi
Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op, Sacred Valley, Peru, Stonehenge, Morocco, Lake Titicaca Sydney

My background in special education, group home management, fashion, theatre and tuina bodywork has led me to bridge all my passions together into Lotus Global Tours. I was 26 years old, living in NYC, looking at everyone my age now, thinking, "Is this how my life is going to be?" There was quite a bit of criticism from people in my life when I left a lucrative career in the NYC fashion world to go to massage school. Many people also cheered me on. I am lucky to have a group of checks and balances people in my life. 

I remembered that feeling I had the first time I was in an airplane, the butterflies, the lump in my throat from the pure joy (and anxiety), the freedom, the people and so much more. So, I applied to massage school and took off for another new experience on the West Coast. This also happened to be August of 2001, one month before the tragedy of September 11, 2001. So much has happened to me, my family, my friends and the world since then.

But let’s get back to that first trip out of the country, shall we? I was able to experience going to school for a day with my friend. Sure, it was Canada, eh, but it was still different. You know what I learned? People can be different and IT IS OK. It sure doesn't mean they are wrong.

As promised, I'll show you why I have had "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey running through my head recently. First take a look at this video and then stay tuned for the next post featuring my experience at the Change Makers Summit in Peru! My experience in Peru with 130 travel advisors and G Adventures staff from all around the globe was a life changing experience. I can't wait to share more with you.

Since my first experience with an outhouse, to the butterflies I felt on my first solo trip in an airplane, I continue to learn and grow from each experience and person I meet. My wish is that we can all continue learning from each other, loving each other and making the world a better place through traveling.

My goal with this blog is to inspire mindful adventures whether they are across the globe or in your own backyard. I invite you to share a memory of your first adventure below. 

Happy Travels!

Jodi globe

Hi! I'm Jodi.

My purpose is to inspire compassion, healing, happiness & creativity.
I am passionate about the traveler experiencing local culture and people, not just checking off the list of top tourist sites or capturing the "best" photo. I'd like to encourage you to connect with people and places while your phone stays in your backpack. 



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