If I could, I would say I have a little bug. Of the traveling sort, that is.
When I was 10 my sister and I went on our first international trip and we did it alone. That first trip was a memory. I don’t recall either of us being afraid; in fact, we must have been pretty darn excited. Our first year, we had a stewardess escort us between layovers and we had nifty little passport pouches strapped around our necks and fanny-packs strapped around our waists over our neon, Body-Glove shirts. Sitting in the last row of the non-smoking section of the plane was absolutely priceless. Yeah, the air smelled foul and I may have wanted to vomit, but we survived.
And every summer after that we would fly by ourselves to Hungary to visit our Grandmother and relatives and stay for months at a time, creating memories I will cherish forever. When there, we weren’t tourists treated like guests, we lived like we belonged there and learned many lessons over the years. We would get so immersed in our life “kulfoldon,” or abroad, that sometimes we’d come back home and our friends would ask what world we just came from. (Apparently, our style of dress was not current and we behaved or spoke a bit differently.) Those were unforgettable summers that exposed us to so much more about what life has to offer.*
Those summers also became the stepping stone for more foreign travel across Europe, some of the more exciting trips including Italy, Russia and Spain. As far back as I can remember, I have always dreamed of visiting countries all over the world. I still dream about it. And if I had my way, any extra money I have would go almost exclusively to traveling. I don’t need fancy clothes, I don’t need a new car, I don’t need designer purses. (Okay, maybe a new camera lens here and there.) I will pass all of that up just to travel. So, why “I would say I have a little bug”?
Well, inevitably, real life puts a check on any last-minute, spontaneous ideas I might have. First, we bought a home and made Home Depot our second home. Then, we started to raise a family and instead of saving for 2 tickets we started saving for 3, and then 4, and very soon now for 5. It gets kinda crazy like that. So, the trips have become fewer and further in between. And the bug in me lies dormant every now and then. But only ever for so long.
While exploring the world may not be a frequently updated category here, it remains one of my strongest passions and I will share whatever I can when I get the chance. Until then, I may sprinkle you with past stories and trips I have been blessed to take over the years.
* One day I will have to write about what that so much more is. For now, I can sum it up with learning to appreciate more the gifts a free life can give us, among them language, culture, opportunities and, most importantly, a wider and more grounded world point-of-view. And I don’t mean “world point-of-view” in a snobbish way, I mean getting to see how real people live and view their lives differently than we do here. For another time!