Exposure to new cultures and customs mold our experiences and vantage points of the world. I was 13 years old the first time I visited Europe with my family and the experience changed me forever. I fell head-over-heels in love with the city of Paris and brought back this influence into all facets of life once I returned to the US. I believe this experience impact my life so profoundly as I was charmed by the beauty, romance and general distinction of Paris and Europe in general compared to living in the suburbs of upstate NY. Additionally, the trip catalyzed my desire to continue learning French throughout high school, college and to gain enough proficiency in the language to be able to study abroad in Paris for a semester, which I did in 2012.
Traveling is a bit like forbidden fruit. One can live in a state of blissful ignorance until you get a taste of another world so vivid, magical and utterly captivating that returning to normalcy feels like a dull replica. Having done my fair share of traveling to nine countries outside of the USA, I can’t fathom an existence in which I didn’t get the opportunity to leave the town in which I grew up. I know locals are always a bit disdainful of tourists that come to their city, especially having lived in NYC where tourists tour in PACKS and are responsible for jamming small side streets downtown. However, that’s just a byproduct of tourism/a city’s increasing popularity and just a fact of life to be dealt with.
I know I’m lucky for having had the chance to explore pockets of this wonderful Earth in my 23 years of life thus far and only hope I have much more in store. I have a trip to Lima, Peru lined up for the first two weeks of November (so excited about that!) and my honeymoon will likely be in 2017 to a place where neither my fiancé nor I have visited. I’m thinking Australia!