My first time on an airplane was when I was in 1st grade on my way to Disney World. I volunteered to sit away from my family in the front of the plane. Back then, the pilots were behind curtains, so I was able to watch them fly the plane! Even though I was only 6 years old, I was not afraid and was ecstatic when the pilots gave us airplane pins.
Fast forwarding to middle school, I was in my first foreign language class. I decided to study abroad. Even though I have trouble learning languages, I still enjoy culture.
Not having enough people in our house of six, my parents hosted a foreign exchange student my Freshmen year of high school from Venezuela. After forming a close bond with her, my sister and I arranged to return to Venezuela and stay with her family for a month in the summer. It was truly a memorable experience. I regret not applying myself to learn the language.
I applied to study abroad after my Junior year of college and was accepted into the Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) Aix-en-Provence program. I think this is where I finally caught my travel bug. The three excursions during my program was not enough. I decided to take weekend trips to Paris, Barcelona, and St. Tropez. After my program, I had plans of backpacking Italy for ten days with my boyfriend.
With an adventurous spirit, Andy and I started visiting National Parks to any country that we could hike and camp, which saved us money before landing full-time jobs. My graduation trip was to New Zealand, where we rented a campervan with two friends and explored the South Island.
After New Zealand, I started my full-time job and found excuses to use my vacation days to travel and meet up with Andy (we were long distance so traveling to new places was a great way to spend time together). We booked flights based on cheap prices and locations.
Here is a high-level travel timeline:
- 2001 – Venezuela
- 2003 – Colorado
- 2007 – France, Spain, Italy
- 2008 – Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree
- 2009 – New Orleans, San Francisco, Cape Canaveral, New Zealand
- 2010 – Peru, Mexico, Zion National Park
- 2011 – Spain, Oregon
- 2012 – South America, U.S. road trip, Alaska
- 2013 – Iceland, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Ireland
To date, I would have to say one of my most favorite trips had to be New Zealand. We had a blast driving around the country while sleeping in a campervan. My favorite part about living in the US is the national park system. I learn so much when traveling to various destinations and enjoy sharing what I have learned. I love travel because it is hard to replicate an experience someone else had. You never know what is around the corner or what is going to differ from original plans.
Even though my list may not be as extensive as some full-time travelers, I try to make the most of my vacation and non-work days. I take little trips within the country to maximize long, holiday weekends and also explore the PNW. I started my blog in 2011 and started to actively maintain it this year. Please head over to my blog to read about more of my travel experiences.