#1: Why I travel

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December 29th 2011
Published: December 29th 2011
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Why I travel…

I can remember the day so clearly. I was in 4th grade and it was only hours before my family was leaving on a vacation to Washington DC. I knew there were no amusement parks, water slides, beaches, or anything else that typical 10-year olds crave. I was pretty sure there was nothing but government buildings, monuments, museums, etc. You would think there was really nothing there to look forward to, considering I never even enjoyed history or social studies classes. However, it was going to be the furthest I had ever been from home and, even from the photos, I knew it was like no place I had ever been. It didn’t matter what was there, all that mattered is that it wasn’t a familiar place. I could think of nothing else but our impending trip. Eventually, I was so unable to contain my excitement over the impending trip that I ended up losing my lunch all over my English textbook!

I remember the teacher’s reaction so clearly…it was not to attend to the suddenly sick child, it was to quickly usher all the other kids out of the classroom, lest they be exposed to the smell of a regurgitated peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But that was all right with me, I knew even in that moment that I wasn’t really sick. Even while I sat there with my second hand lunch dripping down to the floor, I couldn’t get the image of those spectacular gleaming white buildings out of my mind. Of course, later in the day, when I heard my mother whispering to my father that perhaps we should cancel the trip, it was much harder to convince her that I wasn’t really sick – just very, very excited.

It was that day that I knew there was something about going to see faraway places first hand that was in my blood. I had never heard the word wanderlust, but if I had, I would have known that this was my ailment on that embarrassing day in the 4th grade. In the years that followed, I was frequently sick - sometimes due to excitement and often due to the motion sickness that I unfortunately suffer from to this day. In the end, when it was time to take a family trip, my mother just filled me up with Dramamine and flat ginger ale and we continued on with our travels. Even though long car journeys and boats have always turned me a sickly shade of green, I never once did I not want to go. Every trip, no matter how far or near, was an adventure!

Now, as an adult, there is nothing I like more than packing up and going off to see a distant land. I still lose sleep the entire night before a big trip. I love the history, the culture, the natural beauty, the museums, the food, the drink, and I love seeing how others live. I don’t choose my destinations solely on the attractions or sights that they offer, but by a feeling that this is the right place at the right time for me to visit. It is rarely about what I see, but more about what I learn, what I experience, and who I meet. I’ve chosen to live and work overseas because it gives me that feeling of discovery and adventure every single day.

So, why do I travel? Simply because, it is who I am – I knew from a very young age that there was no choice involved. Travel has influenced how my home looks, the food I cook, the wine I serve. It has shaped my politics, my global view, and my sense of right and wrong. Travel has made me appreciate both where I’m from and the places that I might go. I can’t imagine the person that I would be if I did not travel as much as I do. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the person known as Kim would not exist if I had not pursued that “road less traveled”.


12th January 2012

Welcome to Travelblog
You will find many like minded souls here. You already learned that using the Forum gets you more visibility from other bloggers...you got me. Anyway, I've read all your blogs...easy since you just started. I like your writing and pictures so have subscribed and am recommending you to others. Keep up the good work. Now you will have to work backwards, writing all about your previous years of traveling. It took me a year to load all my trips since the beginning in 1949, so you can do it. I'm looking forward to reading more.
12th January 2012

glad you found my blog - I am working on writing up my past stories....I'll start with the anecdotes that I'm always sharing, then dig deeper into my memory. Your words encourage me!
17th February 2012

The Life of Traveling
I can't agree more with you...my husband and I are living in China currently but do miss being by family in the US. The next trip is what keeps me going in China as living here can be quite difficult at times. Seeing how others live, the experiences we take away and the amazing food we get to experience is the best part of traveling. I remember my first trip to San Fran when I was 5 years old flying with my Aunt to visit my other Aunt and her husband. I have had the wanderlust in me ever since.

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