Everyday is a battle with my wanderlust. My need to get out and about. Travel is my drug and I’ve been cold turkey for a while.
I was fortunate to grow up with two parents who were international business consultants. Don’t ask me what that is; I’m still not sure after 18 years of being their child. They traveled A LOT. Don’t get me wrong; they are so involved and supportive in my life. The only excuse for missing a soccer game (about a trillion of those between me and my siblings) or a birthday was they were in China, Spain, Brazil, (insert random country here), consulting on some important international business things.
So we’ve established my parents are amazing and my childhood was pretty unreal. I could go into that for hours, but another time. Plus side of my parents’ occupations is that sometimes my sis/brother or me got to tag along. Ditching school for a week in India, tagging along on a trip to England, going to Brazil. The majority of my trips were with my dad (Papa) because a male professional bringing his daughter is still a little more accepted than a female professional. Doesn’t matter that my mom is a kick ass lady who could close a deal while simultaneously knitting a shawl.
Traveling with my parents also helped them trust me. They knew that when they sent me to Spain for a month alone when I was 15 that I would be just fine. They trusted me to navigate my way through and thrive in new and uncomfortable situations.
I’m not getting to the point fast enough. Early travel and exposure to different countries left me with a huge appetite and expectation of doing those things for the rest of my life. I would not be who I am today if I had never left the country. Seeing the slums in Mumbai and New Delhi as an 11 year old was literally life changing. Navigating the London Underground at age 12 was both awesome and very claustrophobic. Getting hit on in Brazil as a 15 year old (and I still looked 10) prepared me well for male craziness in Isla Vista. I learned so many things about the world and myself outside of my small town bubble.
Now that I’m in college and can’t very well ditch class for a week, I haven’t been on a trip with them in a while. My last one was Paris for a week in 2012 during my senior year of high school (thanks mommy it was amazing!). I have to find my own way (and money) to get out into the world, the ultimate conjuring of independence. It is not surprising that I also want to spend my life traveling and contributing to the world community. My sights are set on an environmental studies career, of which I’m not sure. My small town farming roots and my travel experience make me very interested in third world sustainable agriculture or relief work. We will see where life takes me. Right now I am just trying to get my ass to Europe next summer. Baby steps.
Growing up this way left a space in my life, a longing in my heart for crowded airports, beautiful museums, jaw dropping sights and people watching that isn’t outside your neighborhood Starbucks. I miss traveling SO MUCH that it hurts sometime. I love my day-to-day life but I know if someone offered me a free ticket to somewhere I haven’t been yet, I would take it without a thought. Traveling is so tangled up in my life and personality that I know my passion for it will never go away. It is the greatest gift my parents have ever given me and for that I will always count my blessings.