Just came back from the Big Apple with my special someone, and in just a few weeks, I'll be heading across the Atlantic for a 10-day adventure with my aunt. Although I can be quite a homebody, I love to travel! I've been to Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, China), Europe (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy), the United Kingdom, Central (Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala) and South America (Peru), Canada, the Caribbean (St. Maarten and St. Thomas). This world is full of beautiful places and I've been very fortunate to have had some incredible experiences.
For the past few months, I've been religiously following my cousin's travel blog. She, along with her husband and their two small boys, have been traveling throughout Europe and Asia for the past few months. Anyone who thinks having kids means having to give up your freedom to travel, think again! In fact, I think it's a wonderful idea for kids to travel abroad. When my brother and I were merely adolescents, my parents took us to Hong Kong and China to visit their homeland. Although my memories are quite patchy, I did come away with the knowledge of cultural differences and I do still remember the ubiquitous red taxi cabs and the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. As a college student, during my study abroad semester in London, I was able to travel throughout Europe. As a result of my adventures, and interacting with others from different cultures, I grew to appreciate the beauty of languages. Traveling also reaffirms my belief in our common fate as a global community.
Just as I'm a lifelong student, I hope to be a lifelong traveler. It's mind-boggling how only 27% of Americans possessed a passport in 2007, according to the State Department. Traveling is a true love of mine. I can think of nobody else but Pico Iyer who sums it up beautifully in the following quote:
“I take very seriously the sense of our living these days in a global neighborhood. And the first sensible thing to do in such circumstances, as well as one of the most rewarding things, is to go and meet the neighbors, find out who they are, and what they think and feel. So travel for me is an act of discovery and of responsibility as well a grand adventure and a constant liberation.”
(Photos from top to bottom were taken at marketplaces from the Netherlands, Guatemala, and Japan).