Traveling for me is more than simply experiencing something new. It was something that I was brought up doing and hearing stories about. My parents both worked for an airline, and I was lucky enough to be able to fly for free through college. I took full advantage and flew hundreds of thousands of miles and wish I had done more. The desire to travel came from my parents.
I grew up with stories of Machu Picchu, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the west coast of the United States, and castles in the United Kingdom. From a very early age I was flying to Florida to visit my Grandparents and fortunate enough to see space shuttles take off. We flew twice a year to Utah, during the summer we would go hiking in the mountains and during the winter we would go skiing. My father loved camping and we camped all over. Camping and seeing the Rocky Mountains more than flying or visiting cities created a sense of adventure in me. Just seeing how grand nature is, and even enormous construction projects like the Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, and tunnels through mountain ranges. Incredible feats more than simply building something tall left a lasting impression.
After he passed away, I inherited a huge trunk of old maps, travel books and notes from his trips decades earlier. It is a treasure trove of travel from the 60s to the early 80s.
My family never traveled internationally until I was in high school, but by that time I already loved to travel.
Through college I was able to align my class schedules so that I could take long weekends. I could hop a plane out of town first thing Friday morning and get back early Tuesday. During this time, I learned how to do homework in airports and read for fun while flying. It got to the point where a handful of flight attendants got to know me on a personal level.
At times during school, it was less expensive for me to be on the road than at my apartment. Food costs were lower and I often spent only $15 per night on accommodations.
After college (and losing the ability to fly for free), I still longed to travel. Having new responsibilities (a daughter and a job) and living on the East Coast, I was still able to visit my friends and family back in Chicago twice a year and typically took one other trip a year. After I met the woman that would become my future wife, we decided to make travel a priority.
We have taken at least one ‘major’ trip each year we have been together and countless smaller weekend trips. For her, it is more about seeing and experiencing new things.
Some part of me is always looking to escape. I am not sure what I am looking to escape, but I feel the constant desire to be on the move. I am trying to instill that same sense of adventure in my daughter, we go camping, we take trips and help let her plan them out. I enjoy wandering the woods alone as much as I do, running in a new city.
At the end of the day, work, my house, working out, family all bring happiness to my life, but travel brings something more.
A bit of a ramble, but I love adventure, I love the outdoors and seeing new places.