In just two weeks time, I mark my one-year anniversary of returning from Australia. ONE YEAR. I’ve been home as long as I lived in Oz. I can’t believe it.
Although Oz depleted my travel savings, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to travel overseas twice in the last 12 months. And, I’m flying across the pond again very soon to spend an entire month with Gavin, his family, and our friends.
I am enjoying my hometown again and love visiting London, but I haven’t forgotten how much I love exploring new places. Once Gavin receives his Green Card, we’re hoping to take some fun trips together.
While I’m daydreaming of future travels, I can’t help but think back to the people and events that inspired me to travel in the first place. Another travel meme is making the rounds, and this “travel inspirations” one comes from easyJet Holidays. Participating bloggers are asked to share the “who, what, where, and when” that inspired them to travel, and my pal Bobbi from Heels and Wheels nominated me — thanks chica!
Several people immediately come to mind as travel inspirations, and each has a different role to play.
Amazingly enough, it wasn’t until I graduated from college that I felt any real interest in traveling overseas. But once the seed was planted, the travel bug bit with a vengeance and I wanted to go everywhere. I spent hours researching how to do it on a ridiculously small budget. And when a friend saw this interest and gave me a 1-year subscription to Budget Travel magazine, I was surprised and grateful. Little did I know that receiving this gift would soon lead to finding an amazing deal for two to Ireland. I mentioned the 7-day trip to my father, and he jumped at the chance to join me.
A few years after the Ireland trip, I traveled to Australia for three weeks. I spent my last day with a new friend, a Kiwi who had lived in London for five years, traveled the world, and was currently living in Australia for an undetermined amount of time. I told him about my desire to continue traveling and to eventually embark on a long-term trip. He told me with great confidence that he knew I would make it happen. I took his encouragement home with me and immediately started a travel fund — the fund that helped pay for my year in Australia and for all of the trips I enjoyed overseas between 2006 and 2010.
Since these first travel inspirations, I have met so many people who have influenced where I want to go next and how I want to travel. Thank you for keeping the travel inspiration alive.
In 7th grade my best friend and I were invited to participate in a People to People youth ambassador trip to Australia. My dad and I attended the information session and realized we couldn’t afford the 3-week experience to Australia — seriously, this country has been calling my name for years! My best friend went and had the time of her life. The 13-year old me couldn’t believe the stories she shared upon her return.
I suppose from that moment on, I assumed that international travel was something nice for people to do but it probably wasn’t something I’d ever be able to do. How would I ever afford it and who would go with me?! No one in my family had traveled overseas, and I figured I never would either.
But maybe the invite from People to People planted a seed that I never knew was oh-so-slowly growing. Apparently Australia and I were meant to be from the start.
Of course the “where” pertains to Australia too. You didn’t expect any differently, did you?
After graduating from grad school, I traveled to Oz for three weeks before starting a new job. Throughout the trip, I met young people from all over the world traveling on gap years or living and working abroad. They asked how long I was on holiday, and when I proudly shared three weeks, they gasped — obviously it seemed pitiful in comparison to their three months (or longer).
Everything about Australia inspired me — the who (Aussies and travelers alike) and the what (sights, sports). I realize that three weeks was not enough. That I had to return to Australia one day and somehow find a way to explore other countries too.
Without question, my biggest adventure has been living in Australia.
Leading up to the year in Oz, I knew I wanted to experience long-term travel, but I wasn’t sure when or where. The day a friend excitedly told me that the Aussie government had updated the Work and Holiday Visa to 12 months for Americans, I knew I was meant to go. It took a long time to gather the courage to leave work, loved ones, and the traditional American life plan behind, but I eventually did.
Now it’s time for some of my travel friends to share their travel inspirations!
Nicole, I want to see a new post, chica! Can’t wait to see you in London
Laura is one of my faves and an all-around awesome gal.
Frits, congrats on your engagement! So happy for you.
Caroline is one of my HPL team mates
Brooke is on a great 3-month trip with her partner Pat and I can’t wait to read about it.