Why I Travel

For as long as I can remember I have longed to see the world–every last little bit of it that I could. As a child I devoured hundreds or even thousands of books that inspired dreams of far-off destinations and wild adventures. In my teenage years I began planning… I made pages and pages of lists of everything I wanted to see and do, every place I wanted to go, every incredible experience I wanted to have. As I’ve continued on into adulthood I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill a lot of those dreams. Already, in my brief 23 years, I’ve traveled to every corner of the United States and extensively across 3 continents. This is only the beginning of a lifetime of travel…

As much as I still strive to fulfill all those childhood dreams, travel has also become so much more to me. It is an opportunity to challenge myself and to learn just how capable and strong I truly am despite struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. It is also an opportunity to build bridges.

A friend once wrote that a modern day war between France–where he had studied abroad–and the US is not only improbable, but completely impossible because, “Too many from one country have studied the other’s language, history, and culture…There are too many for whom both countries are home” (Eric Halvorson). I know that for myself this rings true, and so for me, travel is not only a passion, but a political act. Every time I travel, whether to a nearby town or a far-off country, I leave behind a peace of my heart and build a home there. Gaining an understanding and love for another place, people, and culture, and being able to share that love with those around me, is a step towards broader global awareness, and dare I say, world peace. We could not go to war with virtually any Western European nation in this day and age, but there are still too many parts of the world that Americans rarely visit and hardly make an effort to understand. These are the places I hope to know, love, and share with my family, friends, and anyone else who will listen.

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