Traveling to Find Oneself
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Traveling to Find Oneself

Going somewhere new doesn't only mean getting lost.

Traveling to Find Oneself
Michaela Nolan

As we grow older and our lives become more complicated as the days go on, we tend to lose ourselves along the way.

Traveling is something that has always interested me, ever since I can remember. The first time I traveled outside the country I was in fourth grade. My parents took my brother Hunter and I to Italy on a vacation. I would say that this is when I discovered a little bit of my love for traveling. While I might not remember every single detail about this trip I can remember that my brother and I actually got along, which was a rare occurrence for back then. This was my first time out of the country and I can remember bring all of my stuffed- animal monkeys with me. While yes, I might have been young, that doesn't mean that the experience meant nothing for me. I think that the love of traveling was stemmed from my dad. I remember him always traveling for his job and going all over the world. I guess I thought it was exciting, knowing that there are other cultures around the world for me to discover.

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My love for traveling was deepened when i was in high school. Ever since I can remember it was a dream of mine to go to Paris. I think that I would attribute this to both my love of fashion as well as seeing pictures. The first time that I traveled there was with my brother Hunter and my parents over spring break. I absolutely fell in love the moment we stepped off the plane. To me the feeling is one that is indescribable. You would think that one might be nervous about going to a brand new country for the first time, but I can't say that I was, in the least bit. That week with my family was not enough to fill my desires of traveling to Paris. While getting on the plane and taking off to head back to NJ, I knew that was not the first and last time that I would see Paris.

A couple months later I had received news that my aunt (who is from France), uncle and cousin would be traveling there in the summer. Little did I know at the time that I would have the opportunity to go there with them. The experience was completely different from that first time that I went. With my aunt being from and growing up in France, she knew all of the inside secrets that I never would've know about. I was able to stay with her parents while I was there which is something that I consider very enriching. It's the homemade meals that they prepared that made the entire experience that much better! Their family has know become mine and that is something that I am extremely grateful for. When heading for the airport this time, the emotions were a little different. I not only felt that I was leaving behind one of my favorite places, but also my new found family that made me feel at home as well. I got on the plane, yet again not knowing when or if I would ever be back again, but knew that I would love to if it I could.

The third and most recent time that I was in France was the summer before the start of my first semester here at Bona's. I once again went with my aunt, uncle, and cousin, but this time there were a couple more people added to the trip. My friend from high school, my mom, and my other aunt. This trip as well was a whole different experience from both of the other times. I think that the experiences that you gain while traveling, truly depend on who you are traveling with. I was really fun showing around those who have never been to France before because I know the layout of the city so well.

I like to think that France is where I will one day end up living for some time. This is a place where I feel the most free, and when I can just let go of everything that is happening in my own life. Traveling allows you to discover yourself one turn and monument at a time. There is something about being in a place where no one knows your story that I find very interesting. No one is judging you because of your past, because they don't know it.

Traveling alone is something that I have found myself wanting to do more and more as I grow older. I think that traveling also comes with a lot less drama than traveling with others. Also you can do things as you please, eat where you want, see what you want to see and only worry about pleasing yourself and no one else. I believe that traveling solo is a great time to discover who you truly are as a person and find out what really matters to you in life. I hope to be back in the streets of Paris is the near future, whether people think I'm crazy for going back for the fourth time or not. This is the place that brightens my day even if it may be raining outside. There is something new to discover around every corner and you never know what you might stumble upon.

So for those of you who want to travel but are not sure if you should, just go for it. Yes, it can be a bit expensive— I can tell from personal experience, but it is more than worth it. There are some things that you cannot learn from a textbook or from a professor. There are things that must be learned from personal experience and I believe that travel is the best way to do that.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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