I thought about starting this blog post with a shocking statistic on how few vacations Americans take every year, or an inspirational quote about the beauty of travel, but I can't be bothered to search for either of those things. So instead I'll speak from personal experience.
I was not always in love with travel, or at least I did not always know that love was there.
I was not always in love with travel, or at least I did not always know that love was there. I grew up mildly interested in traveling but without making much of an effort to do so. My parents emigrated from Jamaica to the U.S., so we often took trips to the place of their birth. Throw in a few vacations to various states over the years and a larger trek to visit family in Toronto up north, but beyond that, I often stayed local.
It was not until I moved from South Florida to New York for college that the travel bug took hold. During my freshman year, I made my first trip to Europe (shout out to Florence, a great introductory city) and followed that up a year later with a journey to the Czech Republic. By my third year, it was official: I knew I was addicted to travel. I left New York to study abroad in Ghana, West Africa for five months, which then turned into a summer studying French in Paris. My travel adventures became some of my most defining experiences in college and ultimately shaped who I am today.
But then college ended, the real world came and with it a set of new responsibilities. Sure, there were those great things like paychecks (woo! cash money!), business cards (very exciting and official) and work friends. But alongside those came bills, student loans and limited vacation days. I admit, my trips took a beating. I managed to take a few vacations over the years, however my efforts to see the world had diminished, largely because I thought those days of traveling were over.
Anyone who has ever been bitten by the bug knows that once it takes hold, it never really lets go.
But alas, there was that travel bug, and anyone who has ever been bitten by the bug knows that once it takes hold, it never really lets go. So what did I do to satisfy that growing itch to get out and explore? I moved to London for my master's degree, of course, where let's just say I satisfied that travel itch quite a bit.
I later returned to New York with the knowledge that I could not let work and my own excuses affect my ability to see the world. I love travel (pretty sure it also loves me back) and so, if I was going to travel more, I needed to make it a priority in my life. I needed to save money, reallocate funds, do my homework and step out of my comfort zone.
This brings me to where I am today, a self-described "Globe Getter" who is culturally curious, full of wanderlust and BFF4L with that travel bug that just won't leave me alone.
So, why do I travel? What's the point of doing it?
It broadens my world, challenges my beliefs and proves that we are all more alike than we are different.
For me, it's growth and education, uncertainty and exploration. It broadens my world, challenges my beliefs and proves that we are all more alike than we are different. Travel is both a question and an answer. And whether it's down the road or on the other side of the world, there is something about a travel experience that you just can't get anywhere else.
So, my one bit of advice: travel more. Because, if you think about it, when was the last time you heard someone say, "Man! I wish I hadn't traveled so much!" I'm thinking it's somewhere between rarely and never.