How I Became A Traveler
Sometimes I wish I had started my blog when my traveling journeys really began, just a few years prior to when this blog started. I began Ferocia Fatale on a two week trip to Taiwan, but I was already the established-traveler of my family by then. Come to think of it, I never really got around to how this all began….
All my life I had wanted to travel, and I come from a family that never really traveled much. I had not been to the Jersey shore or New York City (that I can recall) until I was in high school, despite living an hour away from both my whole life. The first time I was on a plane was in college.
Growing up I dreamed of someday, somehow going overseas, specifically to Europe. THAT was the big dream. Paris! Italy! I kept saying one day….one day…one day!
Until that one day came when I was sitting in my Art History class looking at countless paintings, murals and Italian landmarks, and it finally hit me that I could not let another day of my life go by without trying to get to Europe. I was just stricken with this notion that if I kept waiting for one day, it would literally never come. It was a wake up call of the highest order.
I left class feeling invigorated, I was going to Europe come hell or high water! I immediately called one of my best friends, who has been featured on this blog many a time, and I said, “We have to go to Europe and we cannot wait another minute!” (All it really takes is a stroke of inspiration and some caffeine to get me really worked up about something.) And he absolutely knew what I meant, we were right on the same page.
We were invigorated, livened, and ripe for adventure! In the next week we decided to meet up with a travel agent to talk about our options, we thought this best because neither of us had ever been overseas. It was all a big question mark to us, better to check in with someone who knew the drill.
Joey and I met up with a travel agent at a AAA location near us, and here begins the great fallout of this story. This travel agent, albeit friendly, took the wind out of our sails immediately. This was around 2008, the economy was crashing, air prices sky rocketing. She told us we simply MUST go with a tour group for the best experience, which would be around a thousand dollars, which didn’t include airfare, and the cheapest she found was about a thousand dollars, and oh yeah, you will need about $500-800 for incidentals, food, souvenirs, tickets to things.
$3,000 a person? For a week? Could that possibly be right? We left feeling utterly defeated, Paris just wasn’t in the cards for us.
As the weeks went by we decided, thankfully, that this couldn’t have been the end, and while Paris might be too much, we still needed to get out there and see the world. Neither of us had ever been to Los Angeles, in fact I hadn’t even been close to the west coast, so we headed west for a four day weekend.
Los Angeles was significant to me, and will always have a very special place in my heart because it was the first time I had ever planned, booked, paid for, and went on a trip all by myself to a place that I had always wanted to go. The feeling, friends, is indescribable.
After having such a blast in Los Angeles, we returned feeling mighty and fulfilled. We could conquer anything! Having booked our trip to LA on the serious cheap using Travelocity, we decided we would go to Paris after all, but on our own terms.
Later on we priced out going to Paris off season, and wouldn’t you know- we booked the direct flight AND a beautiful hotel next to a major metro station for just $1,100 each, about 1/3 the price estimated to us just months prior. Los Angeles was a special moment for me, but the feeling of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time…you just don’t ever lose that magic.
Travel is the last true adventure left in life, where you are left to dream, discover, and truly have an adventure. Flying from airport to airport for work does not a traveler make. It takes going somewhere that you are a little bit scared to go, taking those leaps of faith, and making the adventure happen for yourself, seeking the unknown in life. Some of us grow up in families that travel, to them I say, congratulations! The feeling of travel and adventure is not immune to people who have always had it. However, for the rest of us, you have to make your own luck.
Recently, family members were teasing me about all the grand gifts and travel my boyfriend offers me, and they are absolutely right, I am very fortunate to have him and the amazing opportunities we share. But in their friendly jest listing all my incredible gifts and trips they mentioned Paris, and though they kid kind-heartedly, I couldn’t help but point out that no, I was making it happen for myself long before I met him, and especially when I went to Paris.