When the decision was made that I would be going 2000 miles away for my college education, my mom said something to me that has stuck with me: “sweetie, you’ve been ready to move out since you were 8.”
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to travel, to visit new places and to experience new cultures. I wanted to go to school in New York City, then I wanted to go to school abroad, and finally my focus shifted to school in the South. Still, I dream of far away places: eating French cheese in Paris, buying spices in Turkish markets, standing in British rain, swimming in the waters of Argentina, feeling the mist of Niagara Falls, tasting snowflakes in the Alps, kayaking in Thailand, climbing the Stairway to Heaven trail in Hawaii. I’ve wanted to backpack across continents, live out of a suitcase, and throw myself head over heels into a culture.
My ultimate goal would be to travel somewhere I’ve never been each year. Not just go to a city an hour drive away from my house. I’m hoping for bigger scale movement: another state and God willing, another country. In 2013, this was easy. I went to the South for the first time to visit colleges, I went to Washington DC for Thanksgiving, and I went to Mexico (twice).
My travel plans for 2014, even just the first half already include many new places. I’m going to Colorado for Spring Break, San Luis Obispo in early May, and in late May/early June, I’m backpacking across the UK with one of my best friends from high school. Travel is fairly expensive, but since experience has always been a priority for me, I’ve been saving for a long time.
In the second half of 2014 I would love to do even more. I’d love to visit New Orleans and Nashville at some point, maybe this year or maybe next year or even the year after that. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is at the top of my must-visit list. A place where Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and Flatt and Scruggs have all played? YES PLEASE. New Orleans is also just somewhere that I’d love to go. There’s so much culture and fun nightlife.
I do want to study abroad as well. Europe is the (common and obvious) dream and although I studied French for six years in high school, I also studied Spanish for three years. I’m thinking about minoring in Spanish and studying in Madrid or Barcelona would help my language skills so much.
Volunteering abroad is something that I dream about as well (can you tell that I could talk about future travel plans/travel wants forever?). I’ve done mission work in Mexico (which I hope to continue this year in July), but I would love to participate in more volunteering abroad, maybe doing mission work in South America or do English/French language teaching in India.
The world is my oyster! I can’t wait to see the beautiful space that our Creator has given us.
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.