It’s a Tuesday afternoon when I’m writing this. Just a regular afternoon for most people but not for me, I’m in an Airbus on my way to Vancouver, Canada. While most people dislike flying from the bottom of their hearts, I usually don’t mind it. When flying away from Amsterdam, it means another adventure is about to start. When flying to Amsterdam, it means I’ll be home soon again. Even though I’m a wanderluster I never mind coming home. It means the closure of another chapter in my life and the beginning of new one.
Recently a friend of mine asked me “how come you are so fond of traveling? How did that start?” And with that question, she gave me a good subject for today’s Sunday Social Travel Talk.
As I’ve already mentioned in several posts before, I grew up with a passion for the mountains. Each year my family would make the journey by car, all the way from Holland through Germany to Austria. I never really slept along the way as I was too excited and didn’t want to miss anything of the journey we’d make. On the Autobahn I once said: “Mum, how come every town is called Ausfahrt?” How was I supposed to know that it meant exit in German?
Do you remember having teletext on your tv? Well in the summer I used to have plenty of time, reading every single page of it. Worldwide times would also be there and one of the very first mentioned cities there was Anchorage. I had no idea where to find Anchorage so I took our very old atlas and looked it up. It seemed really far away. If you’d have told me I’d be in Anchorage (it’s in Alaska for those of you who don’t know) every now and then as an adult, I would have stared at you with an open mouth.
My atlas became my biggest hobby. Whenever I’d have the time I’d put my nose right into it and study the maps. The welfare ones, teaching me that it can’t be taken for granted to have a roof that doesn’t leak above your head and the altitude ones, showing me that it’s not as flat as The Netherlands everywhere else in the world.
Then came the day that I went to Schiphol (Amsterdam) Airport with my parents. Not because we were flying, but just as a family day trip. Immediately after I set foot on the airport I was amazed. All these pretty ladies with their blue suits and their trolleys, the pilots looking all distinguished and all those travelers carrying their luggage. We first took a view at the check in desks and I tried to find out where those suitcases were going after they were checked in. I watched all the screens with departures and arrivals with an open mouth and couldn’t believe the world I just stepped into. The world to all these places I had seen on the map in my atlas. This could be my world! At the end of the day we went to the flight deck where we could see departing and incoming planes. My parents literally had to drag me away from it, crying “I want to see one more plane, please? One more only!” And that repeated itself plenty of times.
When going to high school I wanted to be a flight attendant. Or a pilot even. However I had never flown before and I never even gave it any thought that I could find it really scary. Eventually, after my very first flight ever, I realized flying wasn’t for me. It’s a necessity but I will never be entirely comfortable on board a plane.
I ended up working at a travel agency, took various trips and eventually went to Australia for a couple of months. A place I had been dreaming about ever since they started broadcasting “The Flying Doctors” on tv… Once there, I met people from all over the world. They inspired me with their stories and ever since I was captured by travel and to discover new places.
I’ve seen mountains, glaciers, deserts, jungles, cities, oceans, beaches, islands, forests, ruins, lagunas, volcanoes, geysers, lakes, canyons and many other things and I’m grateful for that.
Will I ever get bored of traveling? Who knows! If it happens, it happens and I’ll gladly stay home keeping the memories of my journeys. Some people think I’m obsessed which is perfectly fine since people will always be opinionated about everything we do in life. I travel because I love it and because I get the opportunity to do it. I’m ambitious and always find a way to squeeze in a couple of more days to get out and enjoy what the world has to offer. I don’t need a fancy car or expensive clothes. If I can just travel and admire the world’s beauty I am happy. And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?
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