I’ve never stayed in one place longer than 4 years in my entire life.
I’ve been traveling since before I can remember. I got my first passport when I was 2 or 3.
Since leaving the US for the first time with my parents until now I have been to 23 countries and I’ve lived in 5 of them.
Growing up I hated moving from place to place and I swore that when I was an adult I was going to get a house and never move again.
God has a sense of humor.
By my second year of University I started getting itchy feet (no, not athletes foot). I started getting restless. I needed to travel, to go someplace new. Until my 20’s, all the countries I’d visited had been English speaking countries. I had built up this fear of visiting a country where I didn’t know the language. This was before google translate and everyone having smartphones. It wasn’t till 2006 that I made my first solo trip to a non-English speaking country. I spent nearly a week backpacking around Italy and I loved it! Looking back now, I made SO many rookie mistakes! But that’s what traveling is all about! Making mistakes and learning from them! After that, I was hooked!
The following years were El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
But it wasn’t until I pushed my boat away from the shore in 2011 and left the United States permanently that I really began to see the world. Until that point I had only been to 10 countries. Which at 29 years old wasn’t that impressive I suppose. but in the past 5 years I’ve made up for that by more than doubling that number! I’m hoping that in the next 5 years maybe I’ll triple or even quadruple it!
I’m always trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. Trying to force myself not to get too complacent or settled. I’ve discovered that I learn the most when I travel and when I’m in a strange, challenging environment. I learn about the people, and yes, I learn about new places. But most of all I learn about myself. I learn to question my understanding of the world and why I see or do things the way I do. I’ve learned that so many times there’s not a “right” or “wrong” way of doing things. Just different. I’ve learned to see how many things about the human experience are universal. There are so many tiny things that we all have in common but we fail to see when we draw lines of race or color or nationality.
So I hope I never stop learning, never stop growing and never stop seeing the world anew!