The #1 activity I love to do – alone, with friends, or with family – is to travel. I love it. Loooove it.
My first time on an international flight was during the summer I was 18, when I flew to Europe for an Ambassadors of Music tour (a choir and a band comprised of a couple hundred students + chaperons tour seven countries, playing music and singing in cathedrals and parks around Europe). That trip is what made me realize that I wanted to experience other cultures and to travel as much as possible.
Since then, my goal has been to travel internationally every two years (every year seemed overly ambitious, both for money and time…less often seemed like it would get put on the back burner). So far I’ve done it!
2000: 7 countries around Western Europe – 3 week Ambassadors of Music trip
2002: French May Sem – 1 month immersion class from my college. Basically, I got to use my French language skills to travel around France and journal in French about it – best class ever!
2004: France/Italy/Spain – Six Month Immersion Semester Abroad in France. After graduating from the University in Rennes with my Int’l Business degree, I had a two week break and traveled to Rome and Barcelona, then headed back to France to do an internship before returning to the states.
2006: Australia – 2 week vacation to visit a friend that was living down there.
2008: Jamaica – 9 day honeymoon with Charlie!
2010: Norway – 2 week trip with my Mom, sister, cousin, and Aunt to visit family.
2012: ?? OH SHIT. Time to get on this.
Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am the oldest of five kids, and considering that the vast majority of our extended family all still lives in MN and never travels, we have turned into quite the travelers. My 27 year old sister didn’t get to do a semester abroad (she was a college athlete and couldn’t take the time off), but now as a college coach, she travels all over the place while recruiting. My 25 year old sister did a J-term class (1 month immersion course) to Tanzania while in the nursing program at her college. They brought supplies and helped out in a clinic down there, and at the end of the trip, they spent a few days in Zanzibar. My 23 year old sister did an immersion semester abroad in 2010 (hence my Norway trip). And now, as of today, my 21 year old brother is doing a semester abroad in Australia!
For my little bro, this has been quite the tumultuous month. He was originally supposed to fly out last Thursday, but someone in the Australian Office of Tourism screwed up, and long story short, his Visa was basically misplaced. NOT COOL. Apparently it’s the first time in this university’s int’l student program that it has EVER happened. *sigh* At any rate, it finally came through today, so although he missed his orientation week, he is flying out tomorrow to begin his first international adventure, and I couldn’t be more excited for him!
We realized today that I’ll miss him when I’m in MN next month, and I’ll miss him again at Thanksgiving, so the next time we’ll see him is in February at my sister’s wedding. That means I’ll have gone 11 months without seeing him – by far the longest amount of time I have EVER gone without seeing a family member. I’m sad to not see him for so long, but so happy for him that he’ll get to have this experience.
|Have fun Tom – travel safe, and I love you so much!!!!|