Happy Tuesday everyone!
Surprise surprise, I’m here to discuss travel! 😉
Today is theme prompted and so the big conversation on blogs today is going to be the different travel styles of people. Because my dad made me listen to The Temptations a few days ago, I thought I’d set up this post with a song. If you want to have some ambiance, click here.
The first thing to mention, before anything else, is that I grew up in a family with many many friends. Family friends I’ve called my uncles and aunts, who have known me my entire life, who have known me through good and bad, who have been so proud when I graduated (all four times), who cried when I moved abroad and who always ask how I am. I also grew up with family that was far. Neither of my parents come from Montreal and so most holidays were spent travelling to go visit my grandparents and extended family. I have known no other way.
I think that before I even knew it, my travel style had been influenced by all these factors.
Here’s the evolution:
I’ve mentioned before that my first international trip was when I was 1 year old. It was back in 1991 and my mom and I were flying to Chile to go see my father’s family, both of us for the first time. My next four international travels were the same. Going with either my dad or the whole family to go visit my dad’s side of the family in Chile.
I also spent most of my summer holidays from age 1-17 travelling to the country side of Quebec, to Gaspesie to be more specific, to go spend time with my mother’s parents and family.
My travels were already all about my loved ones!
Then came the first opportunity to travel abroad by myself, to go study abroad in Germany when I was 18. What an amazing adventure! Not one I was prepared for because I had always been used to travelling to go see people who only wanted to cherish me. I know this sounds kind of spoiled, but when your family lives thousands of thousands of miles away and you go visit them once every four years they usually want to spend the entirety of your stay showing you around and making you discover their culture, taste the food, etc. In Berlin, it was kind of all up to me and I was a bit lonely (until I became very good friend with the other girls who were studying abroad).
A few years later, I took the opportunity to go to Chile by myself for the first time. I was 21. Again, it was a total adventure! I was always used to my dad or my mom taking care of things. Now, I was again by myself. However, that is where my experience in Germany became useful. I got used to asking questions and being curious and more into adventures and taking things into my own hands. I had been alone before and this time I was alone, but with family, which made it 100 times easier. I still cherish every single day of that trip so much.
At 23, I moved abroad. After the experiences, good and bad, I was taking a leap of faith. I was moving abroad to a country where I knew no one. I was so excited at the prospect! I call this my ‘exception to the rule.’ I call it that because moving abroad isn’t the same as travelling. Yes you get the excitement to see different stuff and be fascinated by new things, but you also need to get your s*** together and make life work. There are more important things to think about than just strolling the streets and tasting food (Well at least when you move abroad for grad school! Although I did my fair share of strolling and eating…).
When I was in Europe, however, I took every opportunity to travel that presented itself. It is so easy over there! That is when my travel style kind of confirmed itself. I returned back to my comfort zone, to what I had always known – I love to travel to be with people!
I visited Lausanne because a high school friend was working there and we got to hang out, catch up, and visit together. I went to Paris to meet up with another friend who had planned a trip there after uni. I spent a day visiting Oxford because my academic dad was studying there. I visited Clermont-Ferrand and Bordeaux (Audenge) because of friends of my parents who didn’t hesitate at all when my mom contacted them in regards to having me over. I created wonderful bonds with them. I visited Gijon after being invited to join some family friends on their yearly trip to Spain. I went to the other side of the world, to South Africa, to go see my person.
While all those places are magnificent, most of them would have never ended up on my bucket list of places to see. I went for the experience of another culture yes, but I went to be with people I love. I went for the opportunity to see my friends and family, to visit a new country, to taste and admire its culture and customs and to have a true experience of full immersion with locals.
Since then, I’m a total advocate for either going where you know people or couchsurfing, etc. where you actually get to interact with the people of the place. I just love the personal experience they bring.
Now, even though I want to plan trips to corners of the world where I know no one, my priorities will always be the places in which I know people. Perhaps that’s ‘safe’, but to me the company makes everything worth it and so I will take visiting a smaller more underrated place over any big touristic must recommended by everyone.
…and yet again, I’m only
24 25, so who knows what the future holds!
What is your travel style? xx