April 14, 2013 @ 2:07 PM


I have such a love affair with travel. I grew up in Romania during communist times. I was young but to me growing up in a closed country made me aware of my wonder lust. You want the things you can’t have and being unable to go where I wanted whenever I wanted was part of who I was as a young adult. I never really connected money with travel. The simple fact that I couldn’t go somewhere because I wasn’t allowed made me think of traveling as a huge accomplishment in itself, regardless of destination, level of comfort or plans. Just to go somewhere was such a dream!

I left Romania at 17. It is my biggest and greatest accomplishment in life to date. I sometimes wonder if having children should be above that, but then I know that I would have been a mom regardless of where I was living. Being able to offer my children the opportunity to grow up in a free country is a direct result of me leaving Romania.

My American Passport is the most valuable item I own. It opens up the world to me and allows me to experience freedom to the fullest! For me going somewhere is a way of life. I am not looking for an escape to my daily problems, I am not looking to find myself or start a new career. I do it because I can. I do it because it makes me a better person in the long run. It opens my eyes to things I don’t always see when I’m in my daily routine. It teaches me to appreciate the things I take for granted. It helps me understand that person with a different opinion. It helps me educate my children in a way that I simply can’t do it at home. Yes, new places and a new culture are the obvious but the little things that you find on every given trip outside your “daily route” it’s what makes your life better, what makes you appreciate what you have, it’s what teaches you new things that you can apply in your daily life to make it better. For example, I think about the guy at a farmers market in Paris that asked me when I was going to eat the melon I was buying every time I buy a piece of fruit; should it be ripe? Will I be eating this today or will I use it for a lunch snack in two days?

People travel for different reasons. Some travel to go and see a specific destination, some travel so that they can escape their life here at home and some travel to learn about the way of life at their destination. When I travel, I travel with an open return in mind. I never think that this is my only time I will be there, I never “have” to see a specific place or site or building. I can always go back. This allows me to enjoy everything that I get to see, the sights, the people, the atmosphere. I don’t have expectations and I don’t have regrets about any place. I realize that when travel is something you do only once in awhile, you want to get the most out of it. But that makes your trip a chore, with a tremendous amount of time spent on planning, with expectations of what you will see and regrets when you don’t, knowing that you never plan to go back. You want to get your money’s worth and you want comfort, because it’s something that you don’t do often. Fitting a lot in while traveling impairs you from seeing the little things, the things that make travel such a unique and addictive experience. For me, it’s something that I crave more and more with every trip I take. I enjoy slow travel to its fullest and build my everyday life around traveling. It’s at the core of my children’s education and it gives me incentive in all aspect of my daily life: it makes me work harder, save more, invest better, spend less. It takes the desire off things and puts it on experiences. Why do you travel?