OK, confession time: I am 22 years old, and I have never left the US. When I tell people this, they often gasp in horror. Then they ask a question like, "You haven't even gone to Mexico or Canada?" Nope. They follow that up with, "So have you ever even been on an airplane before?" For the record, I've been on a plane plenty of times (Vegas, anyone?). The truth of the matter is, traveling was never my number one priority. I've been to other parts of the country besides my native California, but venturing outside of America hasn't been crossed off the list yet.
So let me state my case. When I was younger, my family and I went on vacations within the US, but my parents' priorities were focused on other parts of life besides venturing to another continent. Things like saving for us kids to go to college and getting a dream home for retirement beat out Italy. So why didn't I study abroad in college? The importance of internships is drilled in your head at school, and I took that to heart — I had four internships throughout college. They were all planned months in advance, and that prevented me from wandering to another land.
I know, excuses, excuses. Honestly, when I hear about my friends' incredible study abroad experiences or memorable Eurotrips, I am envious. I have always wanted to have those kind of escapades, but I just never got around to doing it. I think that embedding yourself into other cultures is important, so I am making a promise to myself that I'll finally get around to doing it. Here are the first three travel goals on my list:
1. Visit my best friend in Sweden.
A couple of years ago my best friend moved to Sweden to be with her boyfriend and go to college. I've been promising to visit for far too long now. Besides, what better way to experience a new country than with the girl you grew up with?
2. See where my family is from in England.
My dad was born in Ipswich, England, and many of my English family members immigrated to America. I would love to see where they come from . . . and stalk Kate Middleton too, of course.
3. Ride an elephant in Thailand.
I really don't have a good reason for this one, I just really want to do it, and word on the street is that Thailand is the best place to fulfill my elephant dreams. Consider it my wild card.
Doing all of these things in the coming year is next to impossible (a girl has got to work, you know?) but I think a realistic goal is in the next three years. And I promise that I'll document my journey every step of the way as I lose my travel v-card. Chances are, I'll be totally freaking out and want to share my glee with readers anyways. Have any other destination suggestions for me? Let me know and I'll add them to my list!