I have wanted to get something off my chest for a while: I used my Passport for the first time ever in 2010. It is a bit embarrassing to admit that, but I hope I can motivate some of you to travel.
When I was a kid, I had a Passport, but never used it. Then, I didn’t get another one until I was almost 30. Now, I had been to every state in the US by the time I was an adult and had visited Canada and Mexico, but never flew internationally. I had a few opportunities, but wasn’t really motivated to take the trip.
My first international flight, was on a Continental ERJ-145 from Houston to Mazatlan, Mexico in May 2010. My second international flight was from San Fransisco to Toronto on a Virgin American Airbus A320 in July 2010. Some might argue that both of those flights are barely international and I somewhat agree. My first flight out of North America was from Los Angeles to Tokyo on a ANA Boeing 777 in October 2010 (on my 30th birthday actually).
So why am I admitting all this? To hopefully convince those of you who have dreamed of flying internationally, to take the plunge and do it. I know that most of you reading my blog have probably already taken the plunge, but for those who have not done it in a while or never before, let me tell you that it is worth the effort.
Yes, I am very lucky where many of those trips I did not have to spend much of my own money. But, I still have to pay for some things and had to pay quite a bit for my recent trip to London. That is because once I got the taste of travel, I have changed the way I spend and save my money to allow me to go on future trips. Do I need a fancy car? Nah, I rather drive one that isn’t so fancy and save that money for travel.
Before my first international experience (outside of North America) I have to admit that I was a bit scared and did not know what to expect. Especially, when my first real experience was heading to Japan, where I do not know the language. But the world has become global and with a little work, one can normally find someone who knows English or willing to figure things out with pointing to things.
I also really think the smart phone has made traveling so much easier. I am constantly using my iPhone to translate signs, look up where I am going and even to communicate with others. It has made going to a foreign land, so much easier (and less scary) to navigate, even for the novice.
I challenge you — make a plan to take a flight somewhere. If you have not traveled internationally before, no matter your age, do not be afraid to admit it. You will find people will want to help give you advice and motivate you to go on an adventure.
I am by no means a travel expert, but there are plenty of people and resources to use out there. I hope to be the cheerleader to push you to explore the world. Unfortunately most of my trips are just a few days and I am not able to get a full taste of the culture, but there is no question that my travel has opened my eyes to new thoughts and ideas that have changed and enriched my life.
So, now that I have admitted that to all of you, I would like to know where are your favorite places to visit around the world and why? I need to start planning a future trip.