Travel is one of the major loves of my life. It has helped shape me in to the person I am today.
I am beyond blessed to have grown up in a household where travel was brought into my life at a young age. My first trip overseas was when I was just 9 years old, I was getting to perform in the St. Pattie’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. My parents decided to make a family trip out of it, and ever since, I have been hooked.
I am 27 now, and have travelled to 23 countries on 3 different continents.
Travel is something that is a priority in my life. I know it isn’t for everyone, but for me, I’ve promised myself to go to at least 1 new country every year, and my goal is to get to 30 by the time I turn 30.
No, I do not make crazy amounts of money.
No, I do not get ANY paid days off in a year. (I am an independent contractor.)
But yes, I do travel, and often; it is possible for everyone if you are dedicated and passionate about making it happen.
There is nothing quite like traveling to a new place. Seeing an entirely different culture, way of life, cuisine, etc. is something that can be life changing. Our first world countries can sometimes put us into a little bubble…where our iPhones, new episodes of our favorite TV shows, or something as simple as having a grocery store in town can be so easily taken for granted.
Once you stay in a town without power or running water, you begin to think differently about the world:
Do I need to have my phone on me at all times? No.
Is it a bummer to miss the latest episode of The Bachelor? No.
Am I so thankful to have food nearby that is easily accessible? Yes.
I learn so much from my trips abroad; not only about the place I am visiting, but about myself. A trip has never failed to leave me thankful, humbled, and feeling inspired.
It’s hard to put words to the feeling you get when you first see the statue of David, in Florence.
I get goose bumps thinking about how magical it was to watch the sunrise over Angor Wat, in Cambodia.
Tears come to my eyes remembering the Catholic Mass I attended in Medjugorje, Bosnia.
And I laugh when I tell the story of my best friend and I riding vespas through the countryside of Pai, Thailand.
I believe that to not see the world and experience places outside our own, would be devastating. To not educate myself on what is out there; the beauty, the heartbreak, the humanity and diversity, would feel wrong. So I make it a priority. I make it a staple in my life, and I cannot wait to continue on.
Next up is Japan, then Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia in the new year. I will reach my goal of 30 different countries by the time I’m 30, and will remain passionate in my resolve to get to a new country each year after that.
I invite you to get out there, see the world, and feel more alive than you ever have before.
Written by Annie Verderame, Karma Activist