Each of us has our reasons, whether it is to take a break from work, relax in some tropical region, go on an adventure, or for some, traveling allows them “to find themselves.” I’ve never been too sure of what that statement means but I guess if you think traveling will help you do that, go right ahead. For me, traveling is therapeutic. It gives me a chance to break away from everything that is deemed “normal” and actually experience something new and exciting.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have grown up with parents who believe that taking their kids on vacation is a necessity. Granted, I have spent many summer vacations in St. Petersburg, Florida; a relaxing destination that is a favorite of ours, yet, within driving distance to some of Florida’s best amusement parks. Besides a few smaller weekend getaways, my parents have never left my sister at me at home for a vacation. If you talk to my mom, she will always say that no matter how young we were, she couldn’t let us miss out on what the world offers. Some of my fondest memories are those of when I was very young, playing in the pool in Florida or digging for seashells on the beach. I owe my parents for giving me those experiences.
Another reason why I travel is to take in the history of these destinations. Anywhere you go, you can find history. Whether it is in a building, a book, or monument, history is everywhere. Now, some of you may not be as enthusiastic about history itself. You may have even hated learning about it when you were in school, but we all can appreciate what history has given us. On my trip to Europe this past summer, I was given the opportunity to see parts of history that I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime. Standing on Omaha Beach, visiting the Sistine Chapel, and even lurking around Casanova’s holding cell in Doge’s Palace in Venice—all of these are where history lived and continues to live today.
You see, for me, it is much like walking into an old archive and being given the chance to hold an old document. The faded writing, the fragile paper, and the significance of what it is you are holding in your hands; that feeling of awe and excitement in that moment is one that can never be replaced. These are the feelings I yearn for when I travel. To be inspired by the faded paintings and written text, to see and touch the fragile buildings and sidewalks that make up history, and most of all, to recognize and cherish the significance of that painting, that text, that building, or that sidewalk—that’s why I travel.
It disheartens me when I hear of others who are giving the opportunity to travel the world and yet, take their experience for granted. It doesn’t matter to them that they stand where hundreds of thousands of men and women, who have died for this country, lay in Arlington National Cemetery. It doesn’t matter to them that they are where nearly 3,000 innocent Americans lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It doesn’t matter to them that they are standing in the hall that ended World War I. It saddens me that these people can bypass, overlook, and even disregard the importance of the past.
I look at traveling as a chance to visit the places that have played a role in how we live today. The more we know about our past, the better prepared we are for our future. The day I stood on the hill of Robert E. Lee’s home, I looked out over the hills of perfectly manicured, green cut grass, and truly understood the ultimate price of freedom. There stood hundreds of thousands of white crosses, each engraved with a hero’s name. Suddenly, I felt inspired by the reason these men and women gave their lives for this country, I understood the significance of what each of those crosses stood for and the way they represent freedom for this country. Finally, I saw and felt how fragile a heart can be when realizing what the sight before them means.
I started this blog because I wanted to share my love for traveling. Whether or not it was just me reading it or thousands, I couldn’t hold these experiences in any longer. I have pictures and video to remind me of the beauty I have seen throughout my life (okay I’m only 25 so maybe not a long life), J but to be able to share my travels with others, and at the same time, share with you all, the importance of traveling…it brings a lot of joy to my life. This is something I want to do the rest of my life. One day when and if I get married and have children, I hope that I too can show them the wonders of this amazing and awe-inspiring world.
So tell me, why do YOU travel?
So tell me, why do YOU travel?