The Travel Bug.
Travel has been in my blood ever since I knew there were people out in the world that lived in other places. It has been a part of me since I learned what culture was, and that there were so many different cultures all over the world. Learning these two things at a very young age, I was intrigued to know them, learn about them, experience a different way of life. I would read non-fiction books with pictures when I was little and travel in my mind. Instead of a quinceñera, I chose a trip. Go figure. And not surprisingly, I also planned it.
My imagination always involved travel, whether it was in a story or just day dreaming. When I would visualize my life ten years from now as a kid, I never saw a white picket fence or a luxurious wedding. I saw myself surrounded by children from different countries, laughing and singing. I saw myself checking off bucket list landmarks. I saw myself smiling for pictures—sometimes alone, sometimes with the future love of my life. I saw myself eating food, walking around in museums. My vision and imagination always had a sense of adventure.
I always had a thirst for knowledge and understanding of the people that lived in this world with me. I would learn new terms for this desire to travel, and I would use them more often than I should. Wanderlust and travel bug—those words were never a bad thing to me. Though rooted from a word for sin or sickness, I saw them as life and freedom. I had lists upon lists of trip plans in journals and excel documents ever since I can remember.
I have always been a planner. But sometimes the planning would just stay in that phase. As a planner, I am also a saver. For years, I saved and saved and saved; I planned and planned and planned. But I finally had enough money saved up, time to actually do it, and probably more than enough travel plans to pick one out of the stack and just go to the airport, ready with an itinerary if I really wanted to. Every trip I’ve taken since I graduated from college has been paid by me, debt free. Baller. I know.
But after being used to just planning and saving, there was a sense of anxious fear at first—I had finally reached the point to just do it. Just go for it, just travel. The idea of traveling had lived in my mind and was only really lived through a couple of family vacations throughout the year, and a few trips I had proudly budgeted to go on domestically for under $1,000. That’s always the goal, and the sweet spot. I do it too, I’m that good. But, I had my mind on Europe for a long time; ever since I knew what continents were. France, England, Spain—those were always my top three countries as a kid. As I got older, I started branching out and my list got way too long. But I really wanted to travel, and I wasn’t quite ready for a solo trip yet. Although I did entertain the idea more than most.
But the time was finally right, and I knew just who I could convince to travel with me. My roommate, my domestic travel buddy, my brother. And I already knew where he would want to go, so the convincing wasn’t that hard to do. My first big trip out of the country was to Italy, and when it confirmed my love of travel.
What Travel means to me.
Travel gives us an opportunity to grow. That’s why my travel posts are a bit different. Here you’ll find what cities taught me, how I grew because I visited them. What lovely treasures and life lessons were hidden within them for me to find. Because I believe that the lessons you learn while traveling will help shape you. They were meant to reach you at that precise moment when you do realize what they are trying to show you. They are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by the person they’re meant to enlighten: you.
I believe that travel makes you come alive. I believe that we need to do more of it, when we can, even if it’s just a day trip somewhere. One of the things that help you find a lovely life is to experience new things, meet new people, learn about a different culture, trying to speak a language, you’ll soon realize that you grow a lot along the way. So take in every breath, every meal, every moment of serenity, every opportunity to feel and see love. Because all these things are trying to show you something in a new perspective. They’re trying to teach you something in their culture, through their eyes. The places that you visit are always waiting for you to discover something that lives within you. They’re waiting for you to give you the key you’ve been searching for.