the travel bug

I was lucky to grow up in a house where travel was very much valued by both of my parents. My dad has always travelled extensively for business and my mom just loves it. Because of this, I guess you could say that the travel bug bit me at a young age and has never released me from its grip. I think what I love most about it is seeing how other people live in different parts of the world. It’s always fascinating to me. So much so that when I do travel, I prefer to skip the tourist attractions for the most part and spend my time where the locals are. Doing what they do, seeing what they see, living how they live…even if it’s just for a couple of days.   

I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel a fair amount in my life. Not as much as I would have liked mind you, but a decent amount I suppose. I don’t know what it is lately, but Europe has been on my mind.   

Back in 2004, I took one of the best trips of my life. I flew to London to meet one of my good friends Jen who was studying abroad there.   

Big Ben

 From there we flew to Ireland for a few days,   

Drinking a Guiness at the Guiness Factory in Dublin

 before flying on to Italy. We visited Rome,   

The Vatican

The Pantheon

 and Florence, 

 

  and had an Italian picnic in Siena. 

bread, tomatoes, olives, cheese, grapes, and wine....

Then we took an overnight train to Nice, France which was totally amazing and gorgeous. We even took a quick train over to Monaco to add another stamp to the old passport. From France we took another overnight train to Barcelona where we met up with some other friends who were studying abroad. 

Me and Jen in Barcelona

We also went to Madrid and Toledo while we were in Spain. Finally we flew back to London for a day or two and then it was back to the States. It was ~4 weeks of pure awesomeness! 

That trip was truly magical for me. I’m so, so grateful for the opportunity to have done all of that as I know many people don’t ever get that opportunity. I feel like I learned so much during that time. About myself. About the world outside of the U.S. About life.
 
Now I just really want to go back! I know I have changed and grown so much since then, so I’d love to be able to return with a new perspective, more experience, and with new eyes. Maybe someday. Until then I will look through old pictures and reminisce….
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