The first time I ever went on an international trip, it was with my Spanish class in the 8th grade to Mexico. After that I didn’t travel internationally until I was in college. Travel wasn’t that interesting to me, maybe because it had to do with the fact that I hadn’t ever left North America or because I was just too comfortable with my bubble.
After traveling to Taiwan for the first time, I discovered a love of traveling. I went to six countries in the span of 14 months. But then it stopped again. I think that there was some thrill to traveling as a college student because I was away from home, I could do whatever I wanted, I could pretend to be an adult knowing that my parents weren’t really within reach. After college, I continued to travel and I loved it. I started to really discover a love of cultures, food, experiences and I will 100% admit that some part of me just felt really cool to say that I had been to Thailand or Guatemala.
In 2013 after my friend passed, it all stopped. I stopped traveling because I couldn’t quite figure out what motivated me anymore. I went back to my bubble and stayed there until last year when I went to Istanbul for work. I got home from that trip the day before the 1 year anniversary of my friend’s passing. And I think that was when I realized that traveling isn’t the same for me anymore. I still love the culture, the food, the experiences, but now it’s about pushing myself. It’s about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Seeing the beauty in the world that exists beyond my bubble and appreciating the opportunities that I have. Traveling for me now is about finding myself, to be okay with whatever happens, to be spontaneous, to figure out what motivates me and to live in the moment. I treasure these experiences now more than ever and that’s probably the best part of my travel adventures. I can think back on the awesome experiences and see how I’ve grown over the last few years. That’s what motivates me to travel. The growth, the experiences, the learning, and the recognition that I’m just a little closer to figuring out who I am and who I want to be.
I leave soon for Europe for my 4 countries in 10 days tour. Let the countdown begin!