I cannot stop obsessing over my mission to see the world. But I am unsure of when this obsession began. Is it something genetic that I inherited? Is it something based on my Dad’s stories? My Dad used to travel a lot for work, going exotic places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Scotland, and Lichtenstein. Growing up, he gave me a jar to collect all the extra currency he had left over. I had green and purple paper currencies with letters and symbols I could never distinguish. I had gold and silver coins with men and women designating vastly different cultures. I had all these different worlds that could fit in the palm of my hand, and I loved it. But is that what sparked my mission to see the world?
Was it my first international trip to France? Here I am pictured, standing underneath the Eiffel Tour in Paris, France. Me, at fifteen, here, in Paris. I could not believe this was my life. So here I stand, acne ridden, braces and all, but that excitement and life glittering in my eyes is what I still feel today, more than a decade later, when I explore. Yet that was almost ten years ago, so how did eight years pass before I left the country again? (Some may claim those years are based on being in high-school and college, but who knows). In the past year, I have hit the double digits for countries I’ve visited, so where did this obsession ignite?
Maybe this obsession started after I began to travel more-post college. Placing myself in uncomfortable, yet exciting new experiences could be the kindling in my heart, while meeting new people and exchanging stories is the fire that ignites the passion. Those people you meet, share the same sense of wonder of the world, while wishing to explore new places, cultures, languages and foods. Those people you meet exhibit their own passion for life and it inspires me to expand my horizons a little more with each new meeting. And the more people I meet, the more people and places and cultures I strive to experience. All of it fuels my desire to experience all that the world has to offer. Traveling lets me fall in love everyday; with different cultures, food, architecture, new friends, but most importantly, traveling lets me fall in love with myself.
Or maybe it’s a combination of everything? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that the more countries I visit, the more I dream about visiting other countries. The more exotic experiences I hear other people reminisce about, the more exotic experiences I want to reminisce about. So my pile of trips to take and places to see, grows exponentially everyday.