“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -Jawaharlal Nehru
As a young girl I often fantasised about becoming a world explorer. I spent many hours going through our home encyclopaedia collection from A to Z, picking out countries I wanted to visit and learning about exotic cultures.
Daydreaming was my favourite pastime (still is). If I didn’t have my head buried in a book or at the neighbours playing tetherball, I was on the rooftop dreaming up exciting adventures in distant lands.
I grew up in a middle-class household where both parents juggled two full-time jobs and worked tirelessly to support two daughters. It took 12 years of saving and careful planning before my parents could afford to take my sister and I on our very first (and sadly last) trip to the mainland USA as a family.
Making the 15-hour, 10,634 mi. trans-Pacific trek from Guam via Narita, Japan to Los Angeles, California was a monumental event for our family, considering the furthest any of us had ever traveled by a plane was to the Philippines, which was an easy 3.5-hour, 1,600 mi. skip across the Philippine Sea.
There were a lot of “firsts” on this trip: first time on a freeway; first theme park adventure; first trip to a museum; and first experience of racism. It was the summer of ’90 when I first realised the world was so much bigger and people far more complex.
This particular trip marked the beginning of my wanderlust journey. Upon our return to Guam, I found myself a world map and began pinning all the places in the world I wanted to visit. I was young, naive and hopeful with my head full of pipe dreams of becoming a world traveler.
23 years later the desire for new and exciting adventures continues to course through my veins . I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. Mind you, I’m no Lowell Thomas or Arthur Frommer, but I do hope to someday visit the many fascinating destinations these early travel pioneers so beautifully described in their writings.
My travel partner these days is my husband, Boris. He is just as passionate, if not more, about exploration and adventure. And I hate to admit it, but he’s a far better navigator than I am. This is not to say that I have poor sense of direction, but I prefer the passenger seat, especially when having to traverse through bustling city streets. Anyone who has driven though cities like of Paris, Rome or Mumbai would agree that it can be a white-knuckling experience. For my own sanity and fear for life, I gladly pass that responsibility to my husband. The odds for a safe and incident-free trip are far better with him at the helm.
It would be an absolute dream to live the lifestyle of a leisure traveler; to be away from the daily hustles, visit historical sites, be one with nature, and free of obligations. Unfortunately for me, I haven’t quite arrived at that status yet. I’m your average white-collar worker with obligations and pets (no children yet). And just like most hard-working individuals, I’ll have to save up for that next big adventure.
With passport in hand and eyes wide open I welcome the endless possibilities and great adventures to come. It may take some time, but one thing is certain, I’m going somewhere beautiful.
“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” – Agnes Repplier