“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.” – Kyoko Escamilla
I’ve been traveling for as long as I can remember. My first passport was when I was about 6 months old, my first plane ride I sat on my parents lap on an international flight from Canada to Portugal. I travelled Portugal, Spain, France and Switzerland before I even finished elementary school spending summers with my family overseas. When I was in junior high, I would count down the months to fly to Europe again and spend the summer exploring. I even did my first solo trip at 13 years old and spent the entire summer with my Aunt and cousins. I think out of 23 summers in my life, I’ve maybe spent maybe about 10-12 without travelling to Europe. There was something about being away from home, experiencing new cultures, architecture and climates.
I consider myself to be the kind of traveler that just goes with the flow. I research the areas I’ll be visiting, making up lists of things I think would be fun to do and tentative budgets to know how much money to save. But I prefer asking locals where they suggest to go and what they do instead of waiting 3 hours in a line up for an overpriced tourist attraction. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to see them. And there are some tourist attractions I will gladly wait in line for to knock off my bucket list like the Palace of Versailles or Anne Frank House this summer. But it’s not solely the reason I go. I love to experience new transportation systems. I found myself better able to navigate the complex subway system in London and Paris better than the transportation system in my own city. I love to try new food, even if it doesn’t settle with me like snails in Paris. I don’t mind feeling lost in the language or getting lost in adventure. I love getting lost in castles, dreaming what the Queen and King were doing in whatever room. I especially love the history and the quirky stories. Exploring a country that’s not your own I feel brings so much more enlightenment to a person’s life. I love seeing the lifestyles of people all over the world. And I can’t wait to continue to explore.
Travelling also gives me an appreciation for home. I may have itchy feet and as soon as I land from one plane, I want nothing more but to hop onto the next. But be it as it may, traveling to different countries truly makes me appreciate what an incredible country Canada is. How our government is compared to other governments. How lucky and privileged I am to live in the house I do, have an education and have my family not worry. I am relatively safe, while so many others are not.
Ultimately, I travel because everywhere I go somewhere new or revisit a place, I fall in love. I fall in love with new places, I fall in love with home. I fall in love with myself. I fall in love with the old and become mesmerized by the new. I fall so deeply and madly in love with the world and all it has to explore and offer that I just can’t stop dreaming about the places I’ve been and the place I want to go.