I recently started thinking about why it is that I have come to love travel so much. When I was writing my fall travel plans post last week (check it out here), I got so excited. I started doing research on all of the new cities I would be visiting; where to eat, what to do, how to get around, etc. All of this research and excitement for this fall got me thinking about why it is that I like to travel so much.
Growing up, I actually didn’t travel much. Within California, yes. We would go to Disneyland or visit my aunties down in San Diego, maybe a beautiful state or national park. I did get to visit Palm Beach, FL and Kona, HI with my family. And go to Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York on a school trip. Oh, and one quick trip to Mexico. But, all of that was in the first 22 years of my life. Don’t get me wrong I am so grateful for all of those trips. Each one is a beyond fond memory that I will cherish forever. I got to experience new things, explore a new place, try new foods and spend time with my family.
Looking back, each of those trips sparked a love for travel that wouldn’t come to fruition until many years later. Maybe it was trying a new food that I loved. Maybe it was seeing a beautiful place that took my breathe away. Maybe it was meeting a new person with a beyond interesting story.
Fast forward many years, I was put in a position where I was able to travel a lot more. I will never forget my first trip after moving to Tennessee (which for me, was when the love for travel started). I had to make my way back to San Diego for a family function. I remember making my way to the airport, figuring out how to navigate my home airport and connecting flights. Getting to San Diego and trying new restaurants downtown and in Little Italy. Visiting my favorite beach in Del Mar. Seeing family and exploring this beautiful city for the first time as an adult. I think from that moment I was hooked. Little did I know how many amazing adventures I would have after that point.
Even as I am writing this, I am trying to figure out how to articulate why it is that I love travel so much. I think it comes down to one common idea: I like to experience new ways of life and find the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences in different cultures within our own country. Beyond that these experiences (especially traveling alone) bring on a bit of discomfort. And that bit of discomfort brings on a tremendous amount of personal growth.
I travel predominantly within the United States. In fact, other than to Mexico, I have not traveled outside of the US. Do I want to have a grand European adventure? Absolutely. But for me, there is something so special about really getting to know my own country. The United States is huge and each region, each state has its own unique qualities. Different cuisines, ways of life, slang, and so much more. I want to experience those. Those experiences are why I love to travel so much.
And let’s talk about that personal growth a little bit more. In all honesty, that growth is one of the reasons I am the most thankful for travel. For me, the two years that I traveled heavily felt like my two years of greatest personal growth. I had always been fairly independent, but traveling brought that to a whole different level. I wasn’t just independent, but I was confident in my abilities to navigate new situations alone. I became more strategic and creative in a variety of areas. In all, I attribute a lot of the person I am today to those two years.
I cannot wait to continue my traveling ways this fall and cannot wait to see what is in store for the years to come. Where are some of your favorite places to travel? Leave me a comment down below! Until next time, friends… CMB