Why I Travel
Four years ago I took my first trip outside the continental United States. Sure, I had been on a cruise before and just over the Arizona border to a small town called Puerto Penasco, but I had always dreamed about going overseas.
Growing up, a lot of our family vacations were to the same places. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very thankful I was able to go to California, Florida, Maui, and New York but we always seemed to go to places that were familiar, places we had been before, and things we had done several times. It took my adult life to realize that I am not that type of person. I like to see more, do more, and experience new. I want to be able to immerse myself in culture that is not my own, see the way people live, and I will always be down to try something at least once.
My first trip abroad was after a couple failed attempts to go with other people. Long story short, it ended up being a case of financials and we weren’t able to go. But this first time was a special time, and I was determined to make it happen. My lifelong goal was to make it to Italy because of my Italian heritage, so that had to be one stop and the other was the wonderful Spain. Here’s the kicker, not only did I go over Thanksgiving, but I also went by myself! At first I didn’t know what I was thinking, then shortly after I woke up in Madrid after a couple nights in NYC with family and friends, I realized it was the best decision I had ever made in my whole life.
I made stops in Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and a day trip to Florence. On Thanksgiving Day, I Facetimed my family in between my pasta, pizza, gelato (repeat). It was the best food I’ve ever eaten on Thanksgiving. And even though I wasn’t with my family or friends, I was so grateful to be in a city that I had never been, eating incredible food, and exploring. The only parts of the trip I really had planned were my major flights, and places I was staying, but I didn’t know how I was getting from Madrid to BCN or Rome to Florence. It ended up working out really easily because I used Bla Bla Car in Spain and an express train in Italy. I trusted my instincts, was very cautious of my belongings, and never put myself in any situations I was nervous about. Ok, I was a little nervous about driving with a random guy that didn’t speak any English all the way to Barcelona, but he ended up being such a nice guy. Let’s just say I was lucky on that one.
Going solo wasn’t originally part of my plan, but I am so damn thankful I did. I wouldn’t be as adventurous, well-traveled, or gotten out of a crummy relationship if it wasn’t for that trip. I am so happy to say that I inspired others to go on trips alone, and I have inspired myself to see more and do more every year I am alive. I have gone to 14 new countries (including Spain and Italy) since 2013. Just this year, I have been out of the country five times with one more next month. Traveling is now a part of my being, it is who I am and is on every vision board I create. It’s fascinating, exhilarating, and everlasting memories keep me at my happiest. Tell me, what is one of your favorite places you have ever been?