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This is my “travel bug” story.

 

I was bitten by the travel bug long before I ever stepped foot on a plane.

 

When I was a kid I was always getting into trouble, and because I was always getting into trouble, I spent HOURS alone in my room with nothing but my bookshelf full of books to drive away the boredom (Remember, this is back before kids had iPhones and the internet to keep them entertained. My family only had ONE computer – I know crazy – and it was placed in the family room for everyone to use). But what my mom didn’t know, was that I never actually stayed in my bedroom. No, rather than stay put like I was supposed to, I transported myself onto a deserted island alongside Robinson Crusoe, swash-buckled with pirates in Treasure Island, spent my formative years on the prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder and boarded the train from Platform 9 ¾ on the first of September every single year. And yeah, I realize how lame that sounds. And I realize that there are whole movies (e.g. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) dedicated to actually experiencing life rather than reading about others’ life experiences, but for a kid with no choice but to stay put, reading was, in its own small way, the only way I could travel.

 

Seriously, I was adventurous and daring inside my head long before I ever actually worked up the courage to do anything so risky in real life. Spending years inside the minds of characters who were far bolder and far more courageous than I only made it that much easier to be bold and fearlessly embrace adventure in life when I became an adult.

 

Which is why, at the age of 19, after spending an entire year saving up and planning, I booked a one-way flight to London, England with no plans of returning for another 10 months.

 

I wasn’t brave – yet. But I figured, hey nothing could really be worse than fighting Lord Voldemort for 7 years, so why not?

 

That one decision has changed my life forever. And I owe it all to the stories (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*) that shaped me, changed me, and made me yearn for something more.

 

Want to know why I chose to travel to every country in the world and how it all started? Click here!

And if you want to know 5 SUUUPPPEERR random facts about me that I think are weird/interesting, click here!