I have never able to sit still and have always had a sense of adventure ever since I was a child. That desire only grew stronger because I grew up in a space where money was tight and the thought of a vacation in my family never really existed.
When I graduated high school, I moved to a big city for college; my first adventure. Unfortunately, I never got to experience a single spring break because while my friends were off to Cabo… I was working at my job and my work-study because I couldn’t afford to pay for school, bills AND a trip.
What a defeating feeling. Was this what life was all about? Working and getting by and letting my sense of adventure turn into a “someday, hopefully, fingers crossed, maybe in the future” kind of feeling. Ugh!
I eventually started with some sales jobs during college, which led to some pretty decent incomes and incentives. Finally! I could sell my way onto a trip via contests, etc. One trip to Jamaica was all it took… I was hooked… I knew I wanted to travel and explore new places for the rest of my life. Just a taste was all it took. From then on, I knew I had to figure out how I could travel more.
It took me a few years of moving to different states, starting and failing some businesses, dabbling with new ideas, and some humbling experiences – but I finally was able to find a way to incorporate travel into my life and into my business plans. To me, that was a success!
I started chiseling away at my bucket list in 2013, and it has been a game changer and lit up my life like I imagined that it would. The experiences have been amazing. I have explored so many amazing places with friends, took my mom out of the country for the first time, spent weeks with my dad in Hawaii, and created memories all over.
Travel made me feel free. It made me feel alive. It made me more and more excited for the next day. I truly believe that travel had given me a new spark and zest for life. It got to the point that when my mom would call me she would ask “Where are you?” Instead of the traditional “How are you?” Again, to me, that was a success.
I began to learn how amazing this planet is and how truly wonderful people are all over the globe. We think we are so different and so important, but when you remove yourself from your current surroundings and see how big the world is you realize how very small your problems are. I have a whole new view of life because of my experiences in various parts of this world. To create memories and take in the sights of this beautiful place is what life is all about.
I have become more of a minimalist as travel became my primary source of happiness. Call me crazy, but I would much rather have a full passport and heart than a new anything. Travel has changed me in that way and I am grateful. I feel that through travel I have discovered what is really important in life. I found myself.
As if finding yourself isn’t enough, I also met my husband because of travel. We had met while in Maui and dated long distance until we were married. The best part of dating someone who loved travel and lived far away was that we got to know each other via phone and discovering new cities together. Instead of Olive Garden… we would meet in Miami or Vegas or Phoenix.
You can really get to know a lot about someone when you travel together. And since being married, that hasn’t stopped. Instead of celebrating holidays and birthdays with traditional gifts, we’ll plan a getaway to celebrate.
We have a little boy on the way and we cannot wait to start taking him on adventures. I am excited to see the world through his eyes. I want him to grow up appreciating experiences over things and seeing what is truly important in this world. I want him to appreciate how different people are and how different cultures can be but that in the grand scheme of things we are really all the same.
My relationship with travel is one that has formed me into who I am today. It’s been a fun ride and am eager to see how it changes me more in the years to come.