How I've Grown into Travel
Let's face it, we weren't all born nomads. I know it took me a poke and a prod before I found what my heart had been searching for all along – to explore this glorious world of ours.
I recently got to thinking about how I've grown into travel. Where I started, and where I am today. In one way, I think this blog is a big part of this growth, in another, I know growth is only natural.
I grew up in a very conservative family. We were the meat-and-3-veg, never go outside in case something bad could happen kind of family. And it was all because of my dad.
My dad was and still is, terrified of the world. I noticed this at a young age, and vowed never to turn into him. I held onto my childhood view of the world for as long as I could. And as much as he pushed, I rebelled and found out on my own, that the world wasn't as scary as he made it out to be.
In high school, I was given the opportunity to travel to South East Asia as a self-funded school trip. As you can imagine, I was eager to go! So, I begged and pleaded, I made some very valid arguments, but after all of that, he said no. His reasoning was I might stand on a land mine – no joke, that's actually how he sees the world. Naturally, I was furious.
A year after high school I worked full-time, saved my pennies and finally, after so long, jumped on a plane to Japan. And, I've never looked back since! It was then that I fell deeply in love with Japan, and the luxury of travel – there was no stopping me. From there I continued to travel, with friends, with boyfriend, alone. It was magnificent.
One day, on my way home from my solo adventure in Europe, I stayed a few nights in Dubai to break up my long journey home. Now, Dubai was somewhat significant to me. Several years back, my dad and I were watching a documentary on Dubai, and after it, we looked at each other and said, 'let's go there one day'.
I arrived in Dubai around 6am, and couldn't check into my hotel room until later that afternoon. So I hung around the rooftop pool, chilling out, freshening up. By the time I checked into my room, I was starving and went on a hunt for a supermarket. I had on a long, loose dress, and a cardigan – I felt appropriately dressed considering the culture and the climate. Walking down a main road, smiling, excited, I was in Dubai! And then it hit me. All eyes were on me, or so it seemed. Every man was staring, expressionless. I couldn't figure it out. I shuffled into the supermarket and tried to shake it off. On my way back to the hotel, the same thing again.
This shook me to my core. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, and I just wanted to hide away in my hotel room for the rest of my time in Dubai. And believe it or not, that's exactly what I did. I became my dad. I let his twisted view of the world get to me, and prevent me from exploring a country I was initially so excited to explore.
After coming home from Dubai, I didn't travel for a while. Something broke inside of me. After 2 years of not travelling, I woke up one day and realised I missed it, and began aching to travel again. Younger me had vowed never to turn into my dad, and yet, I had let one strange experience take away something that made me so happy.
Then and there, I booked a ticket to China.
It's quite ironic China was the first trip to reignite my travel addiction. China was difficult, it was totally strange and different from anything else I had experienced before. I was gawked and stared at. And this time, I experienced took those experiences in a completely different way.
I was me again, the world was all shiny and new! I longed to explore more, to learn more, to experience more. And to this day, I still do. Travel has now become such a big part of my life, I couldn't imagine life without it. In some ways, I'm actually grateful this all happened. Now I can look back on how I've grown into travel, and remember my passion, curiosity, and need.
How has your growth with travel looked?