To start off talking about traveling, I’ll tell you “What traveling means to me”.
Today I want to give you an insight into my traveling background to show you what a big part traveling plays in my life. Of course, I will tell you more about each trip in later blog posts – so if I arouse your interest with this post, stay with me 🙂
I think the love for travel and adventure was put into my cradle.
Since I was a little child, my sister and I traveled a lot with my parents. Every year we would go see another amazing destination. Since my parents are big Greece-lovers, my first trip ever – I was a few months old – took me to an island in Greece. Every year we would visit islands in Greece, beautiful places in Italy or even the United States
Imagine: Me with 3 years traveling to Florida, visiting Disney Land and having a nice chat with Minnie Mouse. I also got my ears pierced in Florida which was one of the most traumatic moments in my young life 😛
The love to travel always influenced my life.
After graduating from high school I was faced with the problem of not knowing what to do with the rest of my life. That’s why I spent 4 months as an Au-pair in Spain. I lived nearby the beautiful city of Valencia with a wonderful Spanish family. In the beginning, it was pretty tough – due to me knowing zero Spanish, the fact that I was abroad alone for the first time in my life and that I didn’t know anything on how to entertain children. Somehow I managed to survive the first few weeks – my Spanish got better and better, the kids accepted me more and more (well one kid more than the other, but in the end, we all loved each other 😉 ). I got to know some wonderful traditions and rituals and shared some very special moments with my new Spanish family. I still remember very good having a Christmas Paella in the garden on December 25th with short sleeves, champagne and a whole Spanish family singing traditional songs and having the best time. Probably the most awesome and at the same time crazy Christmas celebration I participated 😉
I also learned to cook some Spanish dishes like Paella – I even got my own Paella-pan as a gift ;). I think there’s no better way to get to know and understand a culture than by eating traditional food, cooked by nationals with their own preferences and spices.
After getting home to Austria I started studying Sociology. Luckily, the university offered the possibility to go on an exchange semester in a foreign country. As I wanted to improve my Spanish skills and have always been interested in new cultures and “exotic” countries I decided to study one year in PERÚ!
Together with my sister and another girl from my university (the amazing Viki :P) I spent the most amazing year of my life so far there. I got to learn so many interesting aspects of a different culture, people who have very different values than the „typical” European ones I grew up with and I discovered a new continent with all its beauty, nature and diversity. During this year I visited nearly every country in South America.
I fell deeply in love with the wilderness of the jungle, the diverse people, the chaotic lifestyle in the big cities, the fresh and unbelievably tasty fruits and vegetables, the typical food and spices, the relaxed mentality that dominates Latin America, the habit of locals of ALWAYS being late,… I could continue this list forever! The time I spent in South America really changed my point of view on nearly every aspect of my life. No problem is as big and grave as it may seem at first.
“Todo pasa por algo!” (Everything happens for a reason) was – with YOLO! – our slogan of the year I guess 😉
That’s why 2 years after coming home from Perú I decided to go back to Latin America to spend some time traveling on my own. Even if in the beginning I was really scared of the idea of going alone on such a big trip, I had the best time of my life (again)!!
Traveling through Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Perú I got to know so many people from all over the world – some of them became friends for a lifetime! – I really grew as a person during this time, became more self-confident and more independent. I greatly enjoyed the freedom of going to new places every day without even checking the time or planning every moment. If one day I just wanted to lie in a hammock and do nothing but being lazy the whole day – that was fine.
If you’re thinking about going on a trip alone I can only recommend you – DO IT! Even if you’re scared in the beginning, you will learn so much about yourself, spend time with people from all over the world, who have the same attitude as you, learn to see the world with different eyes and just live the moment!. I guarantee that you will enjoy it! – And even if not – wherever you are, there’s always a plane going home 😉
So, as you might have guessed by now, traveling holds a special place in my heart. I love the feeling of freedom and exploring the unknown, getting to know many new (and maybe in the beginning really weird, strange or even creepy) things, trying something different and living outside my comfort zone.
I hope I could show you in this article why I really love traveling and what are the best parts of it – of course traveling sometimes can be tough, but I will come to this later on in my blog 😉
Hope to see you soon!
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