Growing up I didn’t think much of traveling because it was just not something that was feasible. My mother, a single mom of three, did her best to provide off the meager income she made, but there was no money left over for travel.
I remember feeling a bit jealous of cousins who were able to travel with their parents.
Though I was not able to travel. I realize now I was learning about different places though reading. Reading was an escape into ideas and places I was not able to go to.
When I was in 7th grade my mom had recently married my step dad and we went on a family trip to Disney World. At the time (due to 100 degree humid weather and a 24 hour car ride with my family) my pubescent self did not find this trip particularly enjoyable. Looking back I realize I was a bit ungrateful (I have the angry looking pics to prove it). Despite the unfavorable conditions overall I still had a good time but I did not yet realize how much travel would end up meaning to me.
My first plane ride was when I was 18. My mom took me to San Francisco to visit her friend from college. Not only did I get to hear stories about my mom’s interesting college days, I got to see a beautiful new place. I loved the different types of food, the ocean, the sea lions we saw, the shopping. That trip began to speak my curiosity of exploring new places.
Throughout the next several years I ended up visiting Southern California six or 7 times as well as Miami.
I knew I wanted to leave Wisconsin and move somewhwere else so I was deciding between Socal or Miami and I chose Cali. In 2009 I packed up my Nissan and with the help of a friend, we drove over 2000 miles to California.
Moving so far from my hometown also made me less fearful of traveling and I realized I wanted to do a lot more of it.
My first trip out of the country was to Puerto Rico with my best friend. It was beautiful and the people were so nice. I loved how blue the water was. We also went to this amazing reggaeton club where this local artist was painting while the music played, it was so inspiring.
My next international trip was a bit of a fluke. My friend was playing basketball oversees in Jordan (he chose there because that is where his dad lives). He offered for me to come visit him. With a little hesitation knowing of the conflict in the Middle East and that it would be along ass flight (17 hours to be exact). I finally was like hell yes I want to go. Jordan was magical. The historical Jordan River was so great. Petra was literally breathtaking and seemed unreal with its beauty. The Dead Sea was so serene and has healing powers. The culture was beautiful. I ended up meeting a taxi driver who I hired each day to drive me places. He was beyond kind. He would go order me food in Arabic so I would not be overcharged as a tourist. He was a Godsend. The whole experience was life changing and I am so glad I went.
I will speak more of my other travels in my next post. I will say traveling is not just a desire, I don’t know exactly how to put it into words but it is part of who I am. It is not a way for me to feel elite because I didn’t get to experience it later in life. I really am a citizen of the World and I believe the best education comes from travel and learning of different cultures and experiencing how they live, even if only briefly.
Love and Light