Sunday, March 25, 2007

11 in 30 - The travel bug

Going to the travel show yesterday, got me thinking about how much I love to travel. I was probably bitten by the travel bug when I was a mere 8 months old, and was infected for life. As a baby, my parents moved me continents, so I began my travels of the world, from Africa to Portugal before I could even speak. In Portugal, we moved 9 times in the first 9 years of my life...we lived in several different regions of the country, and although we didn't travel much during that time, just the moving introduced me to the wonder of new places.

When I was 10 years old, we, once again, moved the good old U.S. of A. Yet another brand new place to explore. During my pre-teen and teen years, due to the financial strain of starting over in a brand new country, the traveling we did was limited to anywhere we could get by car. But we still traveled. We'd spend summers at the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and take day trips into Maine or Cape Cod. We were always exploring the area.

Once in college, I decided it was time to take it upon myself, and see the world. One spring break entailed a drive to Florida with my cousin. A debate team competition took me all the way to Arizona. There were several trips to New York City. And the family even managed to make a trip back to Portugal one year.

But it was after college, once I had a steady income coming in that the travelling really took off. There was the cruise to the Caribbean with two on-line friends. My somewhat regular visits via car and ferry to Long Island to visit a friend. A trip with my brother to visit my cousin in California. Flying out to St. Louis to stay with a friend. A few other trips to Florida, weekends in Montreal and Portland Maine, and I was well on my way to wanting to see the whole world.

Then came a mortage, and suddenly, it wasn't so easy to just pick up and get away. Still, even with the mortgage, I've managed to celebrate my 30th birthday in Vegas, and take a family vacation to Mexico.

The travel has certainly slowed down, but I am by no means done. I want to head back to Portugal again, now that I'm older, and can better appreciate the history of such a beautiful country. There are still give or take 45 American states I haven't been to. And I've yet to visit anywhere in Asia, Thailand is beckoning me. I've always wanted to stay in one of those "white" homes on a Greek Isle, and what girl doesn't have fantasies of shopping in Paris?

Unfortunately, for now, the travel bug is in a jar...but she's got airholes, and one of these days, I'll let her out again.

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