Day 25: BootsnAll Indie Travel Project
Today’s Prompt: Family – Family shapes who we are, but sometimes the family we create plays a bigger role in our lives than the one we were born into. Tell a story about how either of your “families” have impacted your life and your travels.
To me, there is nothing more important than family. I would do anything for my parents and younger brother, Thomas. They are my support system, my cheerleaders, my challengers, my inspiration, my everything.
For as long as I can remember, my parents have placed importance on seeing new places and learning new things. Since my grandparents had all immigrated to America, it was important for us to see the country we were living in. Which is why, at a young age, we began to travel. We traveled around the United States for years, visiting historical sites along the way. We dumped tea in Boston, explored Colonial Williamsburg, toured the White House, visited Jamestown, read gravestones in Salem, went aboard the Mayflower and saw Plymouth Rock. Along with historical activities, we also spent time in Florida at Disney World and hung out on the beaches of Cape Cod. For these trips, we drove up or down the East Coast, and if we were ever lost, my Mom would say, “We aren’t lost, we’re on an adventure.”
She would say this so that we wouldn’t get worried, but I think it meant a lot more than that. It meant that it was okay to lose your way a little bit along the way, because something truly great could be found.
That mentality was especially useful in 2006, when we took a three-week road trip across Europe. There were a lot of times we were on an adventure, whether it was racing along the autobahns in Germany, driving cliffside in Croatia, tunneling through the mountains in Austria, or stuck entertaining ourselves for hours in an Italian traffic jam. But, it was through this adventure, I knew without a doubt in my mind that I wanted to see the entire world.
My parents encouraged me when it came to travel. If an opportunity came up, they told me I should have no excuses, I had to go. Whether it was going off on my own to meet my Irish cousin and her friends in New Zealand and then heading to Fiji, or meeting them again the following year in South East Asia, or heading off on my own to Africa, which is the current plan for the summer, they are supportive and join in the excitement with me. If exploring the world is my dream, then I should do it.
Even just the other day, in the kitchen, my Mom said to me, “You know what, Erin, you need to marry a man who wants to travel, otherwise, that marriage is never going to last.” My Mom understands that this is not just a phase, this is my life. I will travel with my husband and children in the future. I want my children to be educated by the world, because I think there is no better way for people to learn about life than to be fully immersed in it.
So, occasionally, when I’m feeling a little lost about my place in the world, and want to escape it, I think back to what my Mom used to say on those car rides. I am not lost, I am on an adventure. And what an adventure it is turning out to be.