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My First Case of The Travel Bug

This past winter break I had the fortunate opportunity of traveling to Europe with my family. We laced up our best tourist sneakers and walked the streets of both Madrid and Paris. During my visit, I contrasted the differences between America and Europe. I also had the chance to finally practice my French outside of the classroom. Although I missed the comfort of my own bed and ease of navigating the streets of Davis, being in such a new environment was both inspiring and thought-provoking. I left only wanting to see more.

Although there are many reasons to travel, you should have your own reason for wanting to do so. If your reason is that someone told you it’s important to be “worldly” or to see life through a “new perspective”, I’d urge you to think a little harder about why those two things are important.

Image source: NastyaSensei Sens

I wish I could say that my favorite part was visiting the Prada museum or overlooking Paris atop Le Tour Eiffel, but unfortunately, that would be a lie. Rather the unexpected taxi rides when my sister and I got to practice our Spanish and French, spending way too long at the Real Madrid stadium, and getting left alone at the metro station in Paris are the memories that made my trip an adventure I will forever cherish.

My favorite memories could not be purchased at a tourism agency nor do they cost nearly as much; however, for me that is my reason for wanting to travel. To be in a place where every waking moment is unpredictable and around any corner is something you have never seen before.

Image source: Kun Fotografi

Nowadays it seems traveling has become both a trend and a commodity. People are more concerned about how they look in a picture with a historical monument rather than the historical monument itself. If you fly halfway across the world to see L’Arc de Triomphe through your iPhone screen, you may as well save a couple thousand dollars and try out a free Google search.

After my trip, I had caught a case of “the travel bug”. I was eager to know what else is out there. As I begin to think about the other places I want to see, I must remind myself that traveling is not about proving to others that I have seen the world. Rather I simply want to leave this world knowing that I have seen and experienced all of its beauty.

Haley is a fourth-year student pursuing a major in Computer Science. When she is not at the library, she enjoys running, watching TED talks, and practicing her French. Most of her happiness in life comes from a cup of tea and a good book.
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