When I graduated from college I had one thing on my mind – travel. While most of my friends were out searching for their dream job, I moved to Barcelona, Spain to teach English and explore a European lifestyle. Luckily, my best friend Allyson had the same idea. We bought our tickets and took off on a trip of a lifetime. We had planned to stay 4 months, but when June came around, I wasn’t ready to leave. I took Allyson to the airport and after a tearful goodbye, I returned to our apartment feeling independent, excited, and bit nervous of being on my own. I ended up only staying for 2 more months because I ran out of money and had another trip planned to South East Asia in September.
My experience in SE Asia was unforgettable. I fell in love once again with a different culture, people, and way of living. The trip also dramatically changed how I saw the world what I wanted my place in it to be. Throughout the region, I witnessed ordinary people working harder than I had ever worked in my life, making a fraction of my income. I was touched even further after visiting an HIV/AIDS orphanage in Chiang Mai. My life would never be the same.
My desire to travel began with a selfish motivation – I took off in search for new adventures, diverse friendships, and unique perspectives. While I still crave all of those, my eyes have been opened to a new aspect of traveling. It is hard to ignore how many innocent people around the world are suffering for no apparent reason other than the fact that they were born in an area with limited resources. I have since traveled to Brazil and Africa, constantly learning and doing what I can to make the world a better place…and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! :)