Technically, you could say it was originally Canada that was my first trip, but who's really considering that abroad as a U.S. citizen? From then I've grown wings...and why not? Drinking Guinness in a real Irish pub, snorkeling with fish in the Caribbean, drinking red wine in Italy, visiting friends in England, working in an orphanage in Mexico, finding a secret ice-cream shop in Amsterdam, dancing with strangers-turned-friends in Madrid, and so on and so forth.
I believe that the human experience (at least for me) is made up of witnessing God's creation, his people, their cultures and ways of life that may be foreign to me as a traveler. This is simply beautiful. To live outside the box...is to open your mind, challenge your beliefs and gain perspective. I understand it isn't always easy to travel: lack of money, time and/or a partner to take with you for company. So change that. Save the money, make the time, find the right person to take with you (or go alone!) and do A LOT of research.
Know where your passion to travel lies, set your budget wisely, study the destination & the opportunities there and GO! Life is short, so seize the moment. If your dreams include traveling, don't sit back and make excuses for why you can't...make positive assertions for why you can. You'll never have to tell me twice.
Even this girly girl strapped on a 25 pound backpack with everything I needed for a 31 day backpacking adventure and made it work. I've quickly discovered that you don't need a five-star hotel to enjoy yourself; some of my favorite memories are now from partaking in the hostel experience...who's really ever too old for bunk beds?
(for those of you who can't fathom me backpacking...)
Interested in reading about that 31 day backpacking trip? Just go to http://www.torch2009.blogspot.com/. It starts at the end, so just rewind and get ready for 10 fun-filled blog posts!
All images courtesy of © 2010 Chateau de Victoria