Falling in love with travel was easy. I spent my whole life dreaming about traveling abroad. I was 19 before I ever even boarded a plane! To be fair, that’s not that uncommon.
My Childhood Travels
My family enjoyed traveling around the U.S. when I was younger, but not in a touristy way, and we mostly stayed in the midwest. We raced BMX, so all our traveling was related to races. My parents would be sure to give us some extra time away from home to hang out at the beach, go to Disney, visit Six Flags, etc. I’m not sure I remember ever taking a holiday just because. It was always for BMX, not that I was complaining!
The thing my family never got into was international travel. The first time I left the U.S. was with a small group of friends on a day trip to an amusement park in Canada. Most people would argue that doesn’t count as international.
Even though I hadn’t know anyone to leave the country, I had this burning desire from the time I was like 6 to study abroad in France. This was my one life goal. I still don’t know where it came from, but I always wanted it.
My First International Experience
Lucky for me, when I was 21 I was finally able to make that dream come true. I took my first international flight, landing in Paris and spending the next two months living in Pau. This experience changed me more than I ever imagined possible. It was a period of immense growth for me personally, and I can honestly say that I came back a different person.
And I had officially contracted the sickness so many of us know as wanderlust. The travel bug bit me, and I spent the next two years dreaming of ways to travel.
After Graduating from University
After graduation, I landed a job that I was not all that into. However, it taught me a lot of useful, transferrable skills and gave me the confidence to follow my own dreams. It also gave me the opportunity to see more of the U.S. and become more confident in myself.
As I spent every day at work encouraging others to follow their dreams, I soon realized that I wasn’t following my own advice. I loved, and still love, helping people realize their goals, motivating them to work their hardest, and providing them with the skills to succeed.
But something was missing.
I thought for a while and realized that I needed to be doing what I loved, traveling. I needed to find a way to make it happen. So, I quit my job and messaged a friend who was teaching in China. I got hired at a school in Shanghai and have been nurturing this little travel bug ever since.
With every country I visit, my list grows longer and my travel bug hungrier. Feeding it is dangerous, because it will never be satisfied. It doesn’t leave your system. You become a traveler for life. ♡