I have been in the traveling game for about 20 years now. My adventures have been with family, friends, travel groups and by myself. Each trip has had its own unique lesson & lasting impression on my life. I could go on for days about each trip but for now I'll just give a little snippet of each trip & give more detailed stories later. The experiences I am sharing now are the reasons behind this blog and the trips I plan to take in the future.
At the age of four my first big trip was with my mother to New York City to visit family. We traveled by plane and that is when my love for flying settled in! It may have been getting to tour the cockpit or getting to look at the landscape below us or the floating clouds out of the window. Whatever it was traveling by plane became my favorite form of travel.
Road trips were also a common activity while growing up in my household. The majority of our trips were around the southern part of the United States. Some of the places we traveled included Texas, Washington D.C., Florida & Louisiana. During our travels history lessons were always a major part of the trip. I've always enjoyed learning history so my parents would give me history books before or after the trip about the destinations we explored. Helping navigate with maps was also another favorite part of the trip for me. (Before GPS era)
Australia was my first adventure abroad during the summer before my senior year in high school. I traveled with People to People Ambassadors for two weeks along the east coast of Australia. I strongly believe People to People Ambassadors was a great introduction to traveling abroad. While traveling we learned how the Australian government is organized, leadership skills, and Australian history. My favorite parts were trying all the native foods & the life long friendships I made with the students traveling with me. This trip helped me set my life goal of traveling to all seven continents.
After my trip to Australia I knew that I wanted to study abroad while pursuing my undergraduate degree. Having this in mind helped me pick the perfect university that would help me achieve this goal. Going into the destination deciding process I honestly never even considered Finland until one of the coordinators challenged me to think a little outside of the box & I am so happy I did. During the five months I studied in Oulu, Finland I made more true life long friends, learned a preschool level amount of Finnish, attended my very good friend's wedding, witnessed the extreme season contrast between winter & spring and traveled to seven other European countries.
It is hard to sum up the many lessons I learned during this adventure. Perhaps the biggest lesson that I learned is when your soul is truly happy that is when you are where God wants you to be. My soul is truly happy every time I travel to a new place & learn about the culture & lifestyle! When I returned to the states I was happy to be back home with family and friends but the excitement of being somewhere new came to an abrupt end.
My subsequent trip abroad took place about a year later for my best friend's wedding. I met this awesome woman while studying in Finland and our friendship is one of the huge benefits from studying abroad. South Africa was amazing and I highly recommend anyone reading this to go if they are ever presented the opportunity! My first stop was in Pretoria where my friend lived. After the wedding I flew to Cape Town which became my favorite city in the world! Everything about Cape Town was incredible & I can't wait to go back one day!
Where I Am Going Next
Now that I've given a run down of where I have traveled (selected experiences will be shared in more detail later) the big question is where am I going next? I have four out of seven continents checked off my list. My plan is to cross South America & Asia off my list during my post graduate studies. As for Antartica I'm not sure when I will head that way but trust me once I find a good avenue to get there I will take it!
The travel plans I have right now will take place in my home country, the United States. With weather permitting I will travel to all the New England states along with Canada in the next ten months. All of the adventures I have experienced & plan to experience have cemented the fact that my future health career will include traveling. It has been said that I have traveled a lot for someone my age but this is just the beginning!