“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” –Anthony Bourdain
Every time I come back home from being abroad, I go into what I call “travel depression.” Basically, my wanderlust is so strong that my body physically aches from not being able to travel the world and be somewhere different than what I am used to. The first time I caught the “travel bug” was when I was seventeen and went to Paris for the first time. I celebrated my eighteenth birthday along the Seine and atop the Eiffel Tower with four kids from my French class and students from Kentucky and Texas.
I remember it was on that day that I actually felt I was in Paris. We were roaming around the gardens of the Louvre and you can see the tip of the tower from the gardens and the sun was setting and I cried because I was in the one place that I always looked at in photos. I was in the one place where I had wanted to go for a very long time. It was breathtaking.
When I got home, I was in a funk. I wanted to go everywhere that I could and here I was stuck in Missouri. A broke-senior-in-high-school with no way of going back for quite awhile.
Two years later, I went online and discovered the tour company my French class went through (EF Tours) had tours specifically for college students (or ages 18-25). Every day for a week, I checked on the website and went back and forth in my head whether or not I should do the trip. I talked it over with my mom and, although she didn’t say no, I could tell that she wished that I would put my money elsewhere. Well, at the end of the week, I made a down payment on the trip. Oops. EF was really good about making payments towards the trip each month and by the summer of 2012, I was going to London, Paris, and Rome for two weeks.
I didn’t know anyone who was going on the tour. I booked it by myself and when I landed in New York, I made fast friends with Gabby, who I stuck with throughout the trip. We first landed in London, which would become my home for a few months a couple years later, then Paris, then Rome. We drank too much in Paris and sang loudly in bars and got applauded for our rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and ate so many crepes. In Rome, we ate too much and our feet swelled and the hotel was tiny.
Again, when I got home, I couldn’t wait to go back. I saw London, the one place I had always wanted to live, for the first time and knew that if I didn’t go back, I’d probably go a little bit nutty.
Well, fall of 2013, I studied abroad in London, did many travels (most of which I will talk about in a later post) and when I got back home, I fell in the sadness once again.
Today, my wanderlust is a bit strong and I decided to make a post of the places I want to go in the next five years. Some are new, some are old, but the following are on the bucketlist.
New York City (next month, I’ll be crossing this one off my list!)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Prague, Czech Republic
Sao Paolo, Brazil
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” –Anthony Bourdain