Looking back on my past summer, I realized just how great it was, probably my best yet. I spent more time in other countries, other continents, than the one I’m from. Don’t get me wrong, I love being American, but I’ve spent 22 years here. I’ve only lived in one state, and I hadn’t even been out of the country until a little over a year ago.
Now, I’ve made it to 12 countries spanning three continents, with a mix of trips by myself and friends. I’ve eaten chocolate in Belgium and paella in Spain, cruised the canals of Amsterdam and Venice, heard yodeling in Switzerland and traditional music in Irish pubs, saw the Eiffel Tower dazzling at night and Big Ben from the London Eye, and took a walk through the Colosseum and the Atacama Desert.
Seven years ago, I remember sitting in my European History class learning about the Sistine Chapel. Never did it cross my mind that one day I’d be standing inside the chapel in Vatican City admiring Michelangelo’s paintings covering the ceiling. I was there by myself surrounded by people from all over the world on tours in a buffet of languages.
My favorite memories are from my travels – by myself, with people I’ve known a lifetime or those I just met. I don’t care how cliché it sounds, travelling has changed my life. The friends I made in hostels, the people I talked to in cafes that I’ll never see again, the stray dogs that stole my heart.
So I plan my life around traveling. I don’t like not having a trip to look forward to, so I’m always thinking about what’s going to be my next destination, which happens to be Texas. My advice is to get out and see the world, my friends. It seems to be a hell of a place.