I’ve been traveling with my family since I was a kid. Not just for vacation sake but tennis tournaments my brother and I played in around the United States. We started playing tournaments when we were eight. Tennis has taken me to 16 states spanning from California to Florida to Michigan. I’ve grown up traveling to different cities and staying in hotels became a norm.
For a number of years, my family took trips to Arizona for an annual national tennis tournament following Christmas. We always built in time to sightsee and relax after the tournament. Throughout those trips, we explored Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Sedona. Sedona was my favorite out of all our Arizona adventures. This is really where I realized just how exciting traveling is.
In 2007, we left our hotel in Scottsdale early one morning to take a day trip to Sedona. The closer we got to the quaint town, the more beautiful our surroundings became. At one point it looked like we were driving off the edge of the earth as we climbed in elevation. Suddenly, we were surrounded by mesmerizing red rocks on both sides of us.
Every view was stunning. We ate at a Mexican restaurant with windows from floor to ceiling looking onto the beautiful red sandstone formations. When it was time to head back to our hotel, I didn’t want to leave. This place was magical. I always knew I had to get back to this city, and I did just that less than two years ago. We stayed for a couple nights and rented a dune buggy to explore the stunning scenery around every corner.
In the last year, I’ve traveled to other countries to visit people I’ve met along my tennis journey. I’ve made it to eight countries while visiting and traveling with teammates from college, including my first trip out of the country. I’ve hiked in Vancouver, watched the Eiffel Tower dazzle the night away, taken a boat ride through Bruges and Amsterdam, and eaten schnitzel in Germany and tapas in Spain with a handful of these wonderful friends.
Tennis has played a big part in fueling my passion for travel, whether it be traveling for tournaments or visiting people I’ve met in the tennis world. It’s abnormal for me to not have a trip I’m planning or have a vacation on the horizon. I’ve been traveling since I can remember, and I have no intentions on stopping.
What sparked your wanderlust to fuel your love for travel?