My first trip abroad….
I’m really excited about some of the guest interviews that are coming up in the next few months! I think that it will be great to have some new perspectives on travel and a range of experiences.
I think that it’s always interesting to hear stories about how people realized their love of travel. As a child I remember hearing my dad’s stories about his work overseas as an auditor before I was born.
From Australia to the Philippines, to Western Europe…something seemed to light up inside of me each time that I heard him talk about his travels. I always knew that I wanted travel to be an important part of my life.
In elementary school, my family would always go on vacation over summer break. One summer we went out west to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, etc. As we got older we went to Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. Regardless of the location, I always found something to long about the trip.
For me there is something so pure and wonderful about experiencing a place for the first time. Taking in all of the details and the sights, the newness, the intrigue.
When I was in 7th grade I took my first big trip abroad…solo. Well, not entirely solo. The trip was actually with my Girl Scout troop and we used our cookie money (plus some additional) to attend a large international gathering in Manchester, England.
I remember being so enthralled with the romance of Europe and I had images of castles, green hillsides, and accents that make you want to giggle and melt like butter all at once.
While the trip was amazing and something that I will always remember with fond memories…it’s probably not exactly as you are imagining.
The trip was 2 weeks long and divided into two parts. The first week was spent at the Girl Scout camp while the second week consisted of a home-stay with a local family in Manchester.
The weather was predictably rainy and much cooler than I was used to in August. Did I mention that we were sleeping in tents, outside?
I had brought along one pair of yellow windbreaker pants (which were pretty cool in the early 2000’s) and an over-sized sweatshirt. I wore them both day and night and when it got colder at night I piled on all the t-shirts and shorts that I could fit on my body.
The second week I stayed with a local family and I realized that sleeping indoors in a bed had never felt so good! I was even able to take a shower each day which I hadn’t done in a week!
Although it wasn’t what I was expecting…I wouldn’t trade any part of the experience for anything in the world!
I had so much fun getting to know the girls from each of the different countries that were represented at the camp and it was the first time that I had been told that someone liked my accent (which I didn’t realize that I had, growing up in the midwest).
Although I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time…that two week trip certainly laid the foundation for my love of travel and definitely forced me out of my comfort zone in so many ways!
Have you had any similar experience where a trip has pushed you to do things that you never imagined you would be able to do?
What was your first trip abroad? Did it have a large impact on your life or play a role in your decision to continue traveling? Leave a comment and let us know?
Any upcoming trips planned? If not, where is the one place that you would most want to go?
Photo Via: Jensine Lee