They say once you start traveling you get this thing called a “Travel Bug” and in my case I believe it is true. Meaning, once you travel you get a bite from the travel bug and have the desire to keep traveling. It is a very wonderful and fortunate experience, something that a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to do.
Born and raised in Chicago, a very multi-cultural city, I was introduced to many sides of cultures that was in every sight and neighborhood you went to in the city. Whether it was going from Little Mexico Village, Little Italy, Greek Town to Chinatown, there was a taste of how rich the diversity was around me. I’ve always had a curiosity in exploring all these neighborhoods, which I did, and potentially traveling there.
My parents are from Mexico so we did travel there when we were younger, it was a little taste of traveling internationally. I was intrigued by the culture and lifestyle that was there. Knowing that this country was right below the U.S. but yet was so different. Growing up my dad became a truck driver, and took me around to different states, something I enjoyed. I eventually wanted to save up money and really start traveling after finishing high school, and I finished college with my associates. In the meantime, I was saving up money to go anywhere I was working a full-time job at a fast food restaurant while being a student at school. I eventually manage to save up enough and set off to Colorado as my first solo trip, I went driving and it was an unforgettable experience. Soon after I started getting this itch to do more and travel more. I knew I wanted to do a little more traveling inside the U.S. before deciding to travel abroad.
Traveling required many skills and research, I always learnt this lessons from my parents, because you do need money and plan accordingly in order for your travel to be successful and enjoyable. I started opening up a savings account and working hard after finishing college with my associates. I had an office job where I did enjoy the company of my fellow workers, just not the work, but I was so determined to do my best to achieve my goals. In the meanwhile, I was working overtime and just making sure I was there on time. I started doing research on traveling, the basics of how to travel locally and around the country. My goal was to explore cities around the U.S. first, the reason was to familiarize myself and enjoy what this country had to offer. I wanted to visit major cities but as well as national parks. I started watching travel bloggers on YouTube, as well as websites. This was such an eye opener for me, it was the main key to learn on experiences and as well as locations to visit. I was fortunate to also have a family friend who has traveled when he was younger.
My main key points were if I was traveling in car, what best routes to take and how far it would be to travel, I would stare at the map studying my routes and what was in the way to stop and explore more. If I was traveling by air, I wanted to know how the airport functioned and what methods of transportation I had. This was all valuable to me, this really helped in taking away my fears of traveling. Since these were trips within the U.S. I still was not worried of current currency, laws, and languages. As soon as the time came I booked my travels and started heading out at the age of 22. I traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast, cities included were New York City, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more. I also visited many National Parks and Monuments like Smokey Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, and more. I was feeling excited at this age I was putting myself out there, traveling and meeting people. I learned to really experience and create great memories was to not be afraid and talk to locals, it was the best advice I ever got. I usually had the habit of traveling by myself and sometimes had the help of my family members, which made it more fun.
Once this traveling was going on I felt more comfortable and decided it was time to save up again and head out abroad. I went back this time and with the help of my cousin, we decided we wanted to travel abroad together for the first time. Our trips were going to include Paris and London. We did our research and got our passports on time, I’ve learned you want to make sure to have all documents ready before traveling. This made the process much easier. Luckily these countries did not need visas, so we were back to watching travel blogs about the local tourist destinations and what to do around the cities. We learned about their local currency and researched about getting currency, as well as the language. Luckily in the U.K. English is the language spoken, but for France, French was a new language to us. We found books on learning the language for our activities, and as well as maps to help us navigate to. Another great big factor was where we were going to stay. It was scary at first thinking about what locations where best and how would we get there. Luckily, we did research on safe areas and quickly booked our temporary homes. It was very essential to make sure we booked most of our activities ahead of time. This was to make sure we didn’t loose on the opportunity in case it wasn’t available when we got there.
When the time came we packed up our luggage’s and I remember feeling this excitement of leaving the country and flying across the sea. It was a memorable feeling, once we boarded the plane and landed, the journey began. I was more than ready, as I did my study and research it truly did help. We landed in Paris first, the excitement was overwhelming, but I knew the language was going to be a bit scary at first. Luckily the locals were so friendly and some even spoke English. We went around the city and visited the most famous attraction, which was the Eiffel Tower. I was beyond excited to be able to achieve my travel goals. We ventured through the streets and the days passed and before we knew it, we were on a fast train towards London, our next destination. We ventured through the historic, yet modern city which captivated me with how different the environment was. We went from Big Ben to the diverse district of Soho. It truly was an unforgettable experience. As the two weeks went by, it opened up my knowledge on what this world has to offer.
We headed back to the states and I was already thinking of my next trip, but also continuing on my education to succeed and grow more. I’ve been traveling more after that and at this moment I am ready to continue my education to earn my bachelors in communications. This field interested me more while traveling, as communication is the main key of meeting people around the world whether it’s through marketing or just effective communication. I’ve learned to be very open minded and accept any challenge. I like to persevere in achieving the best things in life and continuing my education will strive for me to travel in the further future.