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I have tried to travel as much as possible since I was a teenager. Money has often been an issue, but I've learned that travel doesn't have to require going a great distance, as there is a lot to discover in California itself. But when I have had the chances to go abroad, I have experienced several different circumstances: I've traveled with young children and then teens and fellow adults (as my kids have grown). I've traveled solo and as part of a couple as well. For me, travel means taking the time to explore and discover, not just seeing the "required" sites. I love to walk through cities as much as possible so that I I see the places (small "p") as well as the Places. There are times when I have splurged, but times when I have been on a very tight budget. (Traveling with a family of 5, you almost have to splurge just for budget accommodations!) "Blending with the locals" is an ideal I'd like to achieve because "wanting the comforts of home" doesn't suit me.