Sawatdee ka, friends! (that’s feminine for saying “hello” in Thai) I created this blog to share my love of travel, adventure, and help inspire others to take the leap into world travel. I also started it to be creative and use writing as a form of therapy, since as you know, telling stories and sharing experiences is somewhat of a cathartic process. So as I was going through my blog last night, I noticed that I didn’t have a post sharing explaining why I started traveling and how I fell in love with it. So I figured I’d change that and share something a little more personal than travel guides and pretty pictures. So I am excited to share why I started traveling, what I learned and how much it means to me.
Soooo…..without much further ado…
Why I started Traveling
Growing up, I didn’t take the fabulous vacations I do now. I didn’t even fly across the pond until I was 25 (which I paid for completely out of my own pocket). As a young child, my vacations with my family were weekends in Phoenix in February, usually over Presidents Day Weekend, to spend 4 days at the Padre’s Spring Training Camp. And let me tell you, I loved those vacations. Summer vacations were usually a last minute getaway to Ensenada, which was just a two hour drive from my hometown of San Clemente, CA. So as you can see, I had a pretty normal childhood.
International travel was always on my radar, however, I always thought it would be when I was retired or something like that. Always kind of thinking it was something I “earned” or that I had “paid my dues”.
However, that changed. And fast. After high school, I didn’t take the traditional route of enrolling in a four year university, despite being accepted into several colleges. I just simply felt lost, confused, and void of any sort of drive (man, writing that out seems sad, but it was the truth).
So fast forward a couple years, I spent a lot of time on Myspace and Facebook, I started following my friends adventures as they spent a semester in Paris or working abroad in such places like nannying in Barcelona or working on a farm in New Zealand. I spent what felt like hours trolling their pages, commenting how amazing it seemed, and wishing I was there.
What I did notice, was that while my friends were out there experiencing these things, I was envious. So I knew that I had to change that.
So I started planning, saving little by little of what I could. You see, despite my middle class Orange County upbringing, I didn’t have a lot of money by my early 20’s. I had worked full-time jobs, was paying my way through school, and everything else in between. So traveling seemed nearly impossible and considered sticking to my weekend trips to Vegas and San Diego.
Fast forward a year or two, my husband (then boyfriend), decided we need to get away. Do like, a real grown up trip. So we decided on booking a cruise.
Why a cruise? Since we weren’t making a lot of money (I worked as an admin assistant and he at Apple), it was a trip we could afford and feel somewhat baller.
We booked a 7-night cruise through the Caribbean on a Carnival cruise ship. For the two of us, the cruise itself was nearly $1,400 with taxes. And we paid for it using our tax return. We were giddy with excitement and clutched on to our passports, packed our bags, and boarded our flight to Puerto Rico to board our ship.
After spending those glorious 7 days hopping between islands, we knew we wouldn’t be the same after it. We were bitten by the bug. The travel bug.
So between the two of us, we devised a plan to make sure we incorporated travel whenever we could. The ultimate prize: backpack through Europe.
With that goal set in sight, we knew we had to be realistic, so we settled on a camping trip. This would allow for us to see Europe, travel for longer, and experience everything we had only dreamed about. We cut out eating out at restaurants, drinking at bars, shopping for new clothes, all so we could travel.
Like I had mentioned before, we paid for these trips on our own. So I feel because of that, it made the trip that much sweeter. The food that much tastier. The experience, that much richer.
So this brings me to the point of why do I travel?
I travel to experience things: experience bathing an elephant in Thailand and having it nearly squash me to death. I experienced walking the Great Wall of China to only realize how massive it really is and how slippery it was. I experienced pizza in Italy, standing on the Eiffel Tower when the lights went off, and hiking the Swiss Alps.
Traveling opens your eyes to an education you can’t get in a classroom. It helps you appreciate what you have. And what you don’t have. You realize how strong, capable and reliant you are. You also learn how weak you can be, what sets you off, and what you miss back home. Most importantly, the reason why I travel, is because it reignites my fire for life. And my will to seek out new places, try new things, and to continue to learn.
Ya, you can say I have a travel addiction, lol. My only problem is being able to afford it.
So despite what many may think, my husband and I aren’t considered wealthy or rich by any means. We make a median income, I carry student loan debt, and still find a way to shovel money aside to fulfill our hobbies and dreams. We find creative and financially savvy ways to afford it.
That is why I started traveling. To experience life to the fullest. SOOOO cliche, but oooooh so true.
And I know that it’s not going to stop any time soon.
So I’d love to hear from you, why do you love traveling?