I wanted to say thank you. Thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart for following along this journey and different adventures both at home and abroad. I feel incredibly grateful for everything I’ve learned over the past four years. 1,000 followers is a milestone for me and I had no idea I would get here!
My mom, who’s been a follower from the beginning said she would subscribe when there were 999 followers so she could be #1,000. Last night that magic number flew by and she quickly stole that spot and made her way onto the mailing list.
Passing that 4 digit mark, I feel like it’s time to step up my game. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is change my theme to something simple and more photo friendly. I’d like to think I’ve improved my photography but I still have so much to learn. I mostly let the beautiful places I visit do the heavy lifting when it comes to photographs and slowly incorporate little tricks and techniques I’ve picked up from friends and tutorials.
Recently I returned home from a summer study abroad program in Innsbruck, Austria – the most beautiful city in the world (probably) surrounded by mountains, colour homes, abundance of bikes, and friendly people. Now I’m headed to Tokyo, Japan for another summer program to learn Japanese. It will be such a contrast but I cannot wait to be immersed in something completely different.
From the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.
This past year has been nothing short of an adventure and I am grateful for every moment of it. As I mentioned before, I’ve learned more on the road then every in a classroom. I’m no where near a blog/human who’s ready to give travel advice or tell you where you should eat or what route you should travel because I recognize everyone is different and with that comes different preferences, budgets, lifestyles, values…etc. But I’d like to think that stories (whether mine or others), can inspire you to get out there and push past your comfort zones.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is that everyone has different comfort levels, which is totally okay. What might seem crazy for me, could be totally normal for another person. But no matter where in the world you go, people seem to want the same fundamental things- family, friendships, a reason to laugh and food to eat, and to love and be loved.
Another lesson I’ve learned is that people (as in most other travellers/bloggers) will say the same thing over and over again – which I believe is repeated for a reason: value experiences over well… just about anything else. You might never get a second chance, and that isn’t to say go do something extreme for the sake of doing something extreme – but if you’ve always dreamed of skydiving and you’re in a beautiful place to do it – just do it. Lastly, if I am to impart “wisdom” on you, then it would be to travel alone. Travel light, carry a journal, and travel alone!
The thing is the more you travel, the more you want to travel. The more you travel, the more you realize this world is huge. The planet is so enormous that the truth sometimes makes me overwhelmed (in the best way possible). You can give yourself a week to see a place then realize a week will never be enough time to even scratch the surface of the city. But sometimes I find myself realizing how small the world is – through crazy serendipitous connections. When you find yourself saying “hey, you know this person too?!” Then I’m comforted that somehow my paths will cross again with some of the special people I’ve met around the world.
The more I travel the less I feel like I’ve seen of this world. The irony I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. I stare at the world map in my room right now and think of how I’ve barely scratched the surface of Earth, let alone my own country. I have more to learn and cannot wait to continue this journey. Thank you dear friends!