Why I Travel

 

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
St. Augustine

I developed my travel bug very early on in life. My grandparents took me all over the world as a child and it was always a positive experience. Even when I got food poisoning in Orlando, or stung by a jelly fish in Daytona, or threw up on the plane over the Atlantic Ocean and on a bus in Norwich, or incredibly sea sick in Alaska, these experiences were still all ones that I will cherish. For all the bad moments I made many many more positive ones. Now, in hindsight, all of these hiccups just add to my fondness for travel.

There are many reasons that I love to travel. Read on to get your wanderlust going (and if it’s constantly on, like mine, let me feed it with some fun stories)…

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HISTORY

I love history. Period. I love all of it. One of my majors from my undergrad degree was an honours history degree. I especially love my ancient history so getting to travel to Rome and see the Coliseum was surreal. Walking on the Acropolis of Athens I couldn’t help but think about how many ancients walked the same steps that I was taking.

In Europe there are still very obvious signs of World War II around. Some places are more evident than others, but finding a bomb shelter in an English backyard or simply just being in Poland, you feel it.

History is everywhere, it is in everyone and everything. Nothing makes me feel more connected to history than travel and there is no better way to experience it.

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“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
Anita Desai

EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE

I have an inherent need to explore. When I was a kid, my grandparents and I would go for long walks. I would always ask to explore off the path, to go into the forest, or to climb the rocks. I always wanted to see more. Today, I feel just the same. I wanted to see every corner of Versailles, I wanted to take in every angle. I am terrified of heights but I still climbed the 243 steps up the Penitent Bridge in Wrocław just to see that breathtaking view of the city, and again in Warsaw to see the magical sunset. Another experience I will never forget was approaching Charles Bridge at sunrise and seeing Prague Castle illuminated like an absolute fairy tale. Unbelievably beautiful.

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One of the most memorable things I have ever done, and perhaps the smallest in terms of how it may seem, was getting to see the statue of “Menelaus Carrying the Body of Patroclus.” I went back to see it three times. Once at night and twice in the day. It was surreal. Seeing art and history whilst amplifying my love for fiction and great literature was one of the top three experiences I have ever had in my life.

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“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Gustave Flaubert

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And don’t even get me started on the Duomo. Speechless is how I felt quite often when I was in Florence.

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It

GROWTH

Perhaps most importantly, I love to travel because it helps me grow as a person. All the learning, and the experiencing change me for the better. Since I began my travelling (away from my immediate family) in 2014 I have grown to be a more confident person. I understand my strengths and my weaknesses what I enjoy and what I dislike. I have learned to control any anxiety I may have while travelling as best I can.

Travelling not only helps my personal growth and understanding my connection to history but it also helps me understand where I come from. My dad’s side is English and I’ve visited England many times. My mom’s side is Armenian. I would love to go to Armenia one day to fully understand where I come from, but until then I will try experience it through my Armenian family in California. I was also fortunate enough to go to Greece, which is one of the countries where my mom grew up. I felt more connected to her there than I have since she passed away ten years ago. It was an amazing feeling.

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Recently, I have made travel a priority of mine. This is very difficult being a woman who will mostly be travelling solo, and as a woman who also makes only minimum wage. But travel has become so important to me and to my identity that I am determined to make it work.

Stay tuned to see a post on the top 10 places I want to visit in the world!

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Where in the world have I travelled? Click HERE to find out!

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