About two months ago, I opened up my Facebook and saw that I had a new message. I was delighted to see that it was from my friend Javi whom I met while studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain circa 2009 during my junior year of college at Miami University. He wrote that he was shortly getting married and invited me to his stateside reception. (He met and fell in love with an American girl during that same spring of 2009.) While an invitation to a wedding reception may seem somewhat unimportant to you, it felt very significant to me.
Nostalgic memories of getting lost in tiny barrios with cobblestone streets, the smells of orange blossoms, incense & smoke and the taste of gazpacho, tortilla espanola & tinto de verano flooded my mind. Studying abroad and traveling during this influential time of my life made a huge impact on me. I was continuously pushed outside of my comfort zone and learned more that semester than I think I ever have before.
Starting this travel and lifestyle blog is my impetus to experience, learn and grow by travel and error — just like I did in 2009. Along with keeping me accountable to being a lifelong learner, below are three other reason why I started this blog:
- It made me really excited! It’s so easy to become complacent and make excuses for not doing what you truly love. I have often said that my dream job would be to become a travel blogger, so writing this is step one to making a wish come true.
- People’s stories matter and they need to be told. By traveling, I have not only met some amazing new people, but I have also grown in my friendships. Authentic accounts of “the good”, “the bad”, “the embarrassing” and everything in between deserve to be shared so that you remember, others learn and community grows.
- One of my favorite quotes sums up my last reason, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” I wholeheartedly want to follow Mark Twain’s advice to be bold and take risks — in 20 years, I’ll thank myself.
Question for you: Did you study abroad? I’d love to hear where you studied, what you learned and what smells/tastes/sounds bring back nostalgic memories for you!