In the span of two years my worldview has completely changed. In July 2014 I took my first international trip as an adult. No family vacations for me. This was me and some friends travelling. I spent a week in London on my own spending way too much on a hotel and visiting Oxford – changing my life forever.
I then met up with my friends in Dublin and had a blast. I enjoyed that first trip but considered it exotic and the exception to the rule that I traveled domestically.
The next international trip I took was in December of that year after being encouraged and persuaded by some friends. I went to Italy to meet a friend I’d made on a domestic trip. I didn’t speak the language but knew enough Spanish to survive in Italian and had my friend as a tour guide. That was exactly the trip I needed following a rough October & November.
At that point I was hooked and followed it up with a flight to Costa Rica for my birthday in March of 2015 to learn how to surf and enjoy the jungle. I met new friends there and learned that I am terrible at surfing. I had a blast and the next month went back to the UK to visit Oxford again before making my call on the program.
At that point I took a few months off knowing I’d be leaving soon and traveled to LAX, SF, SEA, CHI, DFW, NYC, and home to SLC. But in September 2015 – just a little more than a year after my first trip – I moved to the UK.
I started to focus on school for the first semester but by December needed to travel. I went to Israel in December, spent New Years in France, Valentines in Greece, Easter in Italy, France again in April, Berlin in May, Scotland in June, and Sweden in July. Since December I have traveled to a different nation each month and it has been fantastic.
Traveling has exposed me to new cultures directly – in a way that meeting people from various places during the MBA couldn’t fully do. I’ve gained a greater appreciation for all humanity and it has really helped to solidify my stance against xenophobia that seems to be sweeping across Europe and the United States.
By now I am limited only by time and cheap flights and with my internship ending in 6 days I have the biggest trip of my life coming up. On the 19th I fly to Barcelona for an amazing friend’s Bachelor/ette party. On the 22nd I land in Tokyo and spend 4 days experiencing the first country where I can’t at least read the alphabet and try to piece things together. And on the 26th I take off and then land 3 hours earlier in Montreal for a best friend’s Bachelor party before flying home to London on the 29th. Around the world in <10 days and I couldn’t be more excited.
I just packed my one bag that will accommodate the beaches of Barcelona, the summit of Mt. Fuji, and the clubs of Montreal. Because in addition to getting better at seeing humanity all around me I’ve gotten better at packing light too.