So, how did this whole thing start anyway?
I guess I’d say it was in my 3rd year of university when it seemed that everyone I knew was applying to study abroad. After begging my parents and I mean begging (my mom had a hard time letting me go to slumber parties, after all), I was packed and on my way to live (and learn, mom and dad) in Barcelona, Spain.
Gaudi’s Parc Guell was my backyard. Coffee and fresh pastries were my diet (no one will see photos of me from that time). I acquired the Spanish lisp. And then there were the…
Gothic cathedrals. Beaches. Cross country train rides. New currencies. Journal writing. Postcards. Wine. Languages.
It was dreamy and I didn’t wanna go back. I was bit. Hard.
I think I sulked for a good couple months afterward. I thought it was over. My one chance to travel Europe, to live abroad. And for a few years, it was. My next big trip outside the U.S. was to visit my friend who was pursuing graduate studies in Dakar, Senegal. It was just enough novelty and adventure to hold me over a while longer.
And then, I got an invitation of a lifetime.
My sister was in Medellin, Colombia in her 1st year of international teaching. She sent messages home of how wonderful the experience was and planted the seed of my coming to join her. Besides, my mom’s side of the family is Colombian. We could get to know our cousins, aunts, and uncles better…could learn more about our roots. AND, I’d get to live with my little sister again. It really was a no-brainer. While I loved my teaching position in CA, I thought: What’s a year? I’ll be back in a year.
Fast forward to year 10.
So, things happen. One year in Colombia turned to three, and then a three year stint in Tunis, plus four more years in South Korea. Being in such different geographical places lent to some amazing travel opportunities. The combination of being somewhat stationary for some time in one place and close to other cool places to check out has been a real gem. Really, it’s the way Craig and I envision the rest of our lives.
This much we know.
Have you been bitten? Where are some places you’d like to visit?
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Once bitten … it’s in your blood! I went to Italy for a highschool trip and haven’t looked back since. Colombia for a summer at 19, three years at university in Switzerland, six months in Spain … and then a lengthy pause for marriage and children. In more recent years, working in Argentina, a trip to Costa Rica, and then off to see my own travelling children (I think it’s genetic!!) in Hong Kong, UK, Ireland. It’s nice to come home again, but it doesn’t take long to get “itchy feet” again 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Julie. My parents are not the traveling type and have not visited me in the places I’ve lived, but I think it’s wonderful that you can experience that love with your own kids. Remarkable life lessons in travel. Best of luck in your next ventures.