This is a guest post from Lindsay of the Traveluster.com.
Today, if people aren’t photographing, blogging or writing about their travels, they seem to be just generally more motivated to focus their resources on seeing the world. It’s a wonderful evolution, largely aided by advancing technology and more affordable travel. It’s never been easier to fly across the globe. Exotic, untouched lands seem to be disappearing, fewer places left to discover.
Evolution of travel
The travel landscape was much different when I was growing up. My dad likes to reminisce about the old days of his teenage years, when flying was a really big deal, and folks dressed to the nines — suit-tie and all (even the vacationers). By the time I started traveling with my family in the mid-80’s, transportation was much more casual. It still wasn’t quite as common-place as it is today for a family to fly to another country for a vacation. In fact, I might have been the only kid in my class who had a passport. When I came back from one of these family trips, my teacher would always ask me to put on a little slide-show presentation to teach the other students about the places we visited and people we encountered.
From a very young age, travel was about so much more to me than sunny beaches or Disney World (although I was allowed to be a kid and love Disney). I appreciated, and in fact craved, learning about other cultures and lands. I’m not sure if this was an innate instinct, just part of my being, or if I was a product of my environment, with encouraging teachers and parents. Likely, it was a little bit of both.
Looking back, this is one of the greatest gifts my parents gave us. We lived in a world of excess, where almost everyone around us wanted for nothing. I realized, though, after being exposed to simple livelihoods and even abject poverty in places such as Honduras and Mexico, that the world did not operate in one uniform, utopian way. This country I lived in was not like many other countries. We took so many basic things for granted: food, water, shelter, not to mention the Nintendos and Barbies — and what about basic education?! That I could grasp these concepts at six or seven-years-old still amazes me. Reflecting on this reinforces my strongest belief, now more than ever, that experiencing the world is an irreplaceable education that can’t be replicated in the classroom. Now that I’m going to be a mom, I know that this will be a priority for me raising my children as well.
The Chicken or The Egg
My family’s travel reach evolved over time. Whereas we started mostly exploring the nearby Caribbean and Central America, we eventually ventured further afield to Hawaii, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Ecuador, Tanzania, Kenya, and Argentina. I’m always learning and growing in my travels, both with family and on my own.
It’s funny because many of the travelers I know, bloggers and beyond, started their journey fairly recently, discovering the fascination and addiction of worldly experiences a mere four to six- or maybe ten years ago. Not that it’s a race at all. It’s just interesting- and exciting!- to suddenly have so many people with relatable passions! I went from feeling like an outcast for my wanderlust to having a tribe who spoke my language!
Being raised in a traveling family, I almost felt bread for adventure and discovery. I’m not sure if my environment helped strongly shape my interests and eventually career goals, or if my existing proclivity for cultural experiences magnified the opportunities that my parents provided. My brother and I turned out to have different outlooks on life and traveling, after all.
Regardless, my life path and soul-connection to travel led me to pursue a double major in anthropology and geography from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, I went on the journey of a lifetime, taking a Semester at Sea and circumnavigating the globe though 11 different countries in 100 days. The snowball continued to build from there. After living in Spain for nearly a year teaching English, I moved to Washington DC where I received my masters in international peace and conflict resolution. I started a career in international policy, working at amazing places like The Nature Conservancy then The Department of State. After moving to Nashville for my husband’s job, I started my travel blog and am branching off on a new entrepreneurial leaf, chasing my passion and discovering ways live a more intentionally meaningful life. All of this is to say, chicken or egg- not sure what came first, but I have to believe that being raised in a traveling family is at least partly responsible for my worldly passion. And one day, if I can leave any positive mark on this planet, or if I raise a kid who does, I’ll gladly hand that credit over to my parents.
: : :
Lindsay is a freelance writer and runs the blog The Traveluster. She’s spent a lifetime traveling and studying culture, with a degrees in anthropology and geography and a masters in international peace and conflict resolution. Currently living in Nashville, TN, she has previously called Baton Rouge, LA, Washington, DC, and Seville, Spain home. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest.