Updated: Apr 6, 2022
How exploring before settling down impacted me.
There is something incredibly empowering about traveling and especially experiencing a different country. There is a sense of insecurity when someone leaves their immediate known environment. Leaving the known, where we can almost anticipate our days and the events that fill them, to experience a place where the sights, sounds, smells, and nuances are all so new, leaves very little comfort because much of it is a surprise. That ease of the easily anticipated is lifted and replaced with a bit of trepidation because the modes of transportation and methods of payment now require research and knew thought regarding how to do move through the day. It's no longer simple and second nature. This longing to experience the unknown really began in my youth.
My Mom always dreamed of traveling, especially to England. She has always loved history, especially English history, and I was often board when she found time to watch the History Channel. I remember rolling my eyes when I would walk into the living room to find her watching some new thing about the Tutors or the Elizabethan era. Oddly enough, more than half of the time I would end up sitting down next to her to watch the rest of the program. Sigh. I also remember watching bits of Ab-Fab (Absolutely Fabulous), Rick Steve's along with other travel shows, and all kinds of documentaries about different countries. Because of these I was became very curious to travel.
Before I lived with my mom, I spent my elementary school years in an old logging town making treks to Seattle for my visitation weekends. There was very little to do and while this may be perfect for some people, for me it was really boring. During these trips into Seattle I was exposed to the different architecture, museums, Broadway traveling shows, diversity of people and food. Also in my early childhood, we made a few trips to Disneyland located in Anaheim, California which I know helped my growing love of Disney on a whole, but it is also such a different scene and environment.
Moving a bit also increased my curiosity. As I mentioned, I was born in Washington State. Through childhood I also lived in Nashville Tenn, Southern Cali, and just outside of Denver Colorado. Virginia has been my home now for some years. In between these moves, both as a kid and an adult, there were road trips and Spring Break fun with mom in Boston Mass. Several international adventures including France, making port in Rota Spain and Dubai, landing in Bahrain, being anchored in the Aegean near Rhodes Greece, along with the seas and Suez Canal in between.
There are so many amazing things to experience, as I've mentioned in previous posts about traveling, which may not come to mind to some people. There are so many little things that encompass the experiences of visiting a new place that go far and beyond the food eaten and the sights seen. It's the smell of the Paris Metro as you make your way to downtown. It's the intensity of the humidity in the hot Persian Gulf. The smells of the spices on the lamb being roasted by the street vendor in Greece as you walk along the stone street and into a local market. These are examples of the elements I have felt and absorbed through my adventures. It's knowing how it feels to explore that makes all the difference.
The seemingly more simplified and more subtle difference felt on road trips across the U.S. and the mini-trips to Cali when I was really young certainly touched my curiosity. This was encouraged by the diverse history and documentary programs my mother enjoyed that further influenced me. Then ultimately taking trips to Boston and France in high school both of which really opened my eyes to greater possibilities to be experienced. More importantly, traveling in my adolescence opened my eyes to more about me and my capabilities. I felt stronger, smarter, and believed in myself more thanks to pushing my physical self out of the comfort and security of my own back yard.
Exploring the world helps is live a brilliant, bold, and beautifully empowered life.