Traveling is a weird thing. Everyone always wants to travel. Go somewhere new. Usually, you grow up in the same town, live with your parents, work the same job, graduate highschool, but eventually you want to see somewhere new (every couple weeks in my case). People always have dreams and desires for a new destination. But the question is why? Why do you want to travel? Is it for relaxation? To experience a new culture? Meet new people? Get away from things back home? To go somewhere tropical or see a big city? When you say you want to travel what’s your reasonings?
I’ve seen so many different new surroundings and sat on many new couches. I’ve met a plethora of people (whom I all love) and made friends who I know will be there for a lifetime. I’ve felt awkward in my new surroundings multiple time (I thought it would get easier) and felt unwelcome in some places. I love it though and I wouldn’t change it. Ever since I could remember, I wanted to Go. I grew up in Bend, Oregon my whole life (a whopping 20 years) and so ultimately I grew up with majority of the people I know (and we all know everybody). When I didn’t have the highschool years I always dreamed of, I was ready to leave. The idea of going somewhere new, where no one knew me, intrigued me. To travel to a new place and be unknown sounded wonderful. It was like a fresh start and finally someone wouldn’t already have an idea who I was before I even introduced myself. Growing up I often roamed around friend groups. I didn’t exactly have a specific group and I kind of got along with everyone (for the most part). But in doing so, I ended up being commonly known. For a while that was cool, but eventually, like most things it got old. So I was ready to go somewhere new and be the stranger.
I graduated highschool, finally chose a place and made it happen. There is always two ways to travel. You can stay at a resort, relax and do the tourist stuff or you can stay somewhere local, and get a feel for the culture and people around you. There is nothing wrong with the first, but I personally always would choose the latter. Of course I’ve gone places with my family, but when you stay in a resort with your family it becomes a vacation, not a cultural experience. You see the touristic stuff and relax on the beach. But when I chose Italy, I traveled alone, stayed with a friend (now my best friend), got adopted by my Italian family, emerged myself in culture and experienced the country. While I was in Europe I went to four countries and over twenty places. I have learned words in different languages, I saw historical sites and jumped right into the culture. I really didn’t understand how big the world was before traveling. I stayed in Bend most of my life with occasional vacations to Mexico or Hawaii, but when I traveled in the second say way I saw it differently. The world became huge and I realized quickly how small I actually was. Even being here in Australia now, I am quickly realizing I am much smaller than ever before. To travel anywhere outside of Australia, it takes over twelve hours minimum. Europe is twenty-two hours away and home is fifteen. When people say Downunder, they really do mean the bottom of the earth.
I love to travel. I will probably continue traveling my whole life, even if I have to take shorter trips. I never want to get to the point in my life where I am stuck in one place for too long. I don’t want to forget the world around me. The different people. The cultures. The food. They will always be there and I will continue to experience them until I am no longer able.
Everyone always says something like, “you’re so lucky you get to travel. I wish I could.” Everyone makes it seem like traveling is impossible, but it isn’t. I did it. If you have a dream of going somewhere.. set a goal and make it happen. Life is so precious and short. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. I understand most everyone has bills and life to pay for, but if you set aside money for your travels every paycheck and skip out on going out once in a while, eventually you can make it happen.
If I can do it, you can too.