Updated: Oct 8, 2022
I grew up vacationing a week every year at the Jersey Shore. Same shore, same week every summer. I loved it, and like most Pennsylvanians, I used to never think twice about what it would feel like to be anywhere else.
My passion for travel started during my 2008 study abroad in Australia. My dad was the one who encouraged me to go knowing that I was having a hard time adapting to being away at university. I had started freshman year at UNC Charlotte but came back after one semester and started living with my parents while commuting to school.
Studying abroad was a way to prove to myself that I was able to adapt to new environments. I choose Bond University in Queensland, Australia based off of a photo and the fact that it was the farthest I could go. I knew nothing about it. It took me until the tuition deadline to make the decision because I was so hesitant to leave what was familiar.
During my time in Australia, I embraced every aspect of it. I chatted with friends in the dorms one night about how I now feared more to go home and wished the adventure could continue.
“I wish I could travel more,” I said.
“Then why don’t you?” posed my friend. We talked about the possibilities, but it seemed so unrealistic. Still my initial seed was planted. I have a naturally obsessive personality and since craved to be consumed with new experiences in locations that present learning opportunities to broaden my mind and perspective.
Since that conversation in the dorms, I have been to many more countries and states. I commonly get asked “Where are you going next?” because it’s expected that there is something lined up.
I hope by sharing my travels it will encourage others to find more adventure in their own trips, stop doing what is routine, ditch Disney World and be open to possibilities.
There is so much learning that happens just from observing new surroundings. Traveling has provided me with deeper purpose and has introduced me to people and places that have truly changed me. I hope I can encourage others to make their dream adventures realistic.