I don’t know why – or when – I was bit by the travel bug. It seems as though I’ve been that way I am as long as I can remember, but my mom places it more around the age of 14 or 15. I was invited to go on a trip for students to the United Kingdom, but I wasn’t able to go. I was upset, but determined that someday I would get to go to another country. Suddenly, I was driven. Or maybe I was driven before then, when I fell in love with the band Def Leppard as a 10 year old and wanted to go to England because that was where they were from. Or perhaps even earlier, when The Lord of the Rings came out and I decided I needed to go to New Zealand and see Hobbiton in real life. I even made a powerpoint presentation trying to convince my dad to take me there. Heck, maybe I was born bitten (see baby Leah above- can you see the travel bug in my eyes?)
No matter when it happened, it happened, and I’ve been a slave to wanderlust ever since.
My first experience with a foreign country was Mexico. I went with my dad for my 16th birthday, and to this day it is one of my favorite trips. We went to see Chichen Itza, Tulum, swam with dolphins, and soaked up the sun on the beach while it was probably about 0 degrees back home in Minnesota. One of my clearest memories is paying full price for an Aztec calendar because I didn’t know how to haggle and my dad laughing at me.
Since then, I’ve been to 12 countries (not including the one I live in- the United States), 18 states, and countless cities. My love and desire for travel knows no bounds, and I can’t wait for the journeys that have yet to come. There is simply nothing like that feeling when you step off a plane and into the unknown.