Thursday, March 22, 2012

Me, Myself & Travel

I fell in love with traveling at the age of 14 when my grandparents took me on my first trip to Europe. I was suddenly exposed to new sites and experiences that opened up my world forever. They first took me to England and Scotland and the following year we explored more of Europe. I will never forget taking a stroll along the lake in Lucerne, Switzerland and admiring the peaceful, stunning scenery around me.  It took me away from my crazy life at home (I know, how crazy can high school be, but it seemed crazy then!) and allowed me to escape to this wonderful world of beauty and tranquility. I suddenly realized that we have this huge world around us to wander and explore and enjoy!

That trip to Europe also took us to Hungary, where my mother’s side of my family is from. It was such an enlightening experience to step back into history and walk along the streets my mother and grandparents had walked. To hear my grandmother relive her tales of a happy family who walked along that bridge and enjoyed the cafes on that street, to being forced out of the country during a Revolution that left them no hope if they stayed. The experience took me back to my roots and reminded me of who I really am and where I really come from.

That trip made me decide that I wanted to travel the world. To see what was out there and how people lived in different parts of our planet. Once I started university, I worked my butt off to make sure I could travel more and successfully visited most of Europe during that stage of my life. Once university was over I decided I wanted to go farther next time. So I worked and saved and worked and saved and finally was able to take half a year off, and explore a new part of the world – Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It was just me, my backpack, and a friend, and together we explored new cultures, made new friends, and formed a lifetime of memories (and photos!)

Once that trip was over I was worried I wouldn’t be able to travel very much since I was about to start my career.  But thankfully I was wrong! Not only have my jobs allowed me to travel around Canada and see the beauty and diversity this very country I live in has to offer, but I learned that with the right planning, my traveling life was far from over! Since I’ve started my career, I’ve visited many new places including Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and to date I have visited 42 countries in total.

I hadn’t considered blogging during most of my trips as it wasn’t very popular back then and travelers still resorted to updating friends and family over ‘group emails.’ But I love to write and share my experiences with pretty much anybody who will listen, so I’ve decided to start my blog and share my stories! 
Many people tell me they are jealous of how I manage to travel so much and ask me how I do it. Some people think I have an endless amount of vacation at work (I don’t) and some think I have won the lottery (I didn’t), and I always tell them – if you really want it, you can do it too! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Live, Breathe, Travel

Travel…it’s my fuel…it’s like the air that I breathe…it sustains me. Fellow travelers will understand the high that you get when you board the plane en route to your next adventure destination. It’s a feeling of mystery, excitement and intrigue. You know exactly where you’re going, but you have no idea what you’re going to experience once you get there.

It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing the different cultures that exist on this one planet we all share. It’s to stop and take in the spectacular sights and scenery that the land and ocean have created. It’s to see how similar, yet how different, the human race can be.  It’s to taste, to feel and to understand. Traveling will open the mind and the door to your soul as you encounter different people from all different backgrounds. The people you meet and relationships you build will ignite your spirit and change you forever.

Our lives are a result of our experiences, and to travel is to experience. It’s to learn and grow and laugh and cry and form an endless list of memories that will last a lifetime. It’s to share your stories and inspire others to hop on that plane and experience the adventure of life themselves. For we were all given the gift of life, and it is up to us to get out there and live it.