How I Fell in Love with Travel
7.17.2016| Posted by Alyssa C. |
Most people fall in love with travel on the first trip that they take away from home. Kids who go on camping trips that are destined to change them forever. Who go to Disneyland or DisneyWorld or what other form of Disney there is and enjoy the delights of their childhood while screaming from the top of their lungs as the roller coaster whisks them from one spot or another in an exhilarating, dizzying, adrenaline-rushing ride. Or teens. Teens who are off on a school trip or any other trip where they get to volunteer rebuilding a school or a church. It might not be to another country, but a one-week venture to some place where the sights, sounds, and smells are so different from what they know to be home. Others are already adults when they take that first step into the unknown. Perhaps it is to visit a relative or family members. Perhaps they finally decided to take that long vacation their best friends have been convincing them to take. Perhaps they want to see what is this fascination with flying and travelling that they keep hearing everyone talking about.
Not so with me.
My early childhood travels were more "travails" and less fun and adventure. Every time we took a trip, our parents had to make sure that they had plastic bags just in case one of us threw up (and, believe me, between me and my five brothers and sisters, someone was always bound to throw up; we rarely escaped unscathed). It wasn't just the throwing up that made us dread the journey and wish we could teleport to wherever we were going to. We hated the movies they would show on the bus with their loud sounds and disgusting scenes (for some reason, the PG-est of PG movie get played on buses). We hated bumpy roads and zigzag highways. We even had an incident when we travelled to a nearby province and some of us had diarrhea (to make matters worse, their were no toilets on the bus).
Thus, in my mind, I equated travel to tiresome, bothersome, messy things that took one away from the comforts of home and thrust them into places where the unknown and the unsafe occurred. In one of my earlier childhood travels, even, I remember trying to cross a bridge that was made of nothing but long pieces of bamboo strewn together, and falling off just we I started walking across. There were dogs that chased us, horses that ran away, runny noses, upset tummy, swarming mosquitoes, little incidents that would involve some of us falling this or that, bumping into this or that, breaking this or that.
I can remember out of town trips, but I can't remember ever saying that I wanted to go back to a certain place or that I wanted to go somewhere. Of course there were time when it seemed fun and cool...until the next person threw up or fell of the bridge or got chased by a turkey. So you can bet that my less-than-stellar travel history has little to do with why my feet are always itching to go some place.
Rather, I fell in love with travel in the solace found between the pages of many of my favourite books. I was five when I first read Little House on the Prairie and found myself wishing that I could go to a prairie and that I could see some Native American Indians. Not shortly after, I read Anne of Green Gables, and Prince Edward Island made it to a spot on my bucket list (which wasn't actually called a bucket list back then). The Boxcar Children had me wanting to visit ranches, go camping in the mountains. Swallows and Amazons made me want to try sailing, reinforced all the more by The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. Books like Number the Stars, Twenty and Ten, and Escape from Warsaw, sad as the plots were, made me eager to visit Europe
And while I read, I dreamed. Dreamed of a time when I would see these places for myself. Dreamed of my first airplane ride, my first trip out of the country, my first venture to worlds unknown. Dreamed of the time when I would not just read about those places or see them through magazines or online sites, but actually be there, actually see them with my very eyes.
Last May 10, 2010, I took that first step to fulfilling those dreams: I had my very first plane ride to a trip out of the country for the very first time.
It's been six years since that day. I don't get to travel as often as I'd like, but there are times when I get to go on trips and it's harder to convince my wandering soul to come back. I'm still dreaming. I'm still building my bucket list (which I actually call my Dream List now) and looking for places to go and things to do. Recently, I discovered several travel communities that are so fun and wonderful and helpful. I've downloaded a few apps, scheduled a few trips in the next few months. I haven't been to those places I've read about in my favourite books yet, but I'm determined to go there someday. Maybe I can even find that sweet niche what will allow me to travel for work or travel while I work. It's all hazy, nothing final, but it's a step, just like that one I took six years ago.
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