What is your very first memory of wanting to travel?

Travel Truths is an ongoing question series for travel lovers. I ask and answer a travel related question every week and invite you to answer the question on your blog or on in the comments below. Travel is more then just destinations and experiences, it is a metaphor for life, a state of being, something the heart longs for. Join me as we explore the depths of our relationships with exploration and travel.

What is your very first memory of wanting to travel?

For many of us, there was a moment where we realized that exploring the world was a good and worthy goal. What sparked your interest in travel? Was it a book, a person, a song? Where was your travel heart born?

I can still remember every stone on it. My uncle had returned from a trip to Japan with a gift for me. I was probably around 6 years old and the word Japan meant nothing to me. But the gift did. It was a bracelet made of stones his friend had picked up on a beach in Japan. I remember the weight of it, the cheap fake gold chain link that connected gold squares with glued on stones, the feeling of something precious in my hands.

I looked at each stone closely noting the way the patterns varied from serene to intensely chaotic, how their colors were familiar but not quite the same as the stones in my backyard, how each one had been worn smooth by an ocean who’s name I did not know. I could almost feel the waves as they rushed up onto the sands of this unknown beach. It was in that moment that I realized that the world was big, that it wasn’t 30 minute drive across town big, that it was so vast I could never know it all. I did not understand the yearning that sprung up inside of me at that moment, but I now recognize that this was the moment when my heart opened to travel, when it opened to the unknown.

The bracelet is too small for my wrist now and the colors and patterns no longer surprise me, but I still carry that moment with me, pushing me forward, daring me to explore.

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0 thoughts on “What is your very first memory of wanting to travel?

  1. When I was about 11 years old, I remember realizing for the first time that some people lived “differently” than me. I had a teacher who’s first language was Dutch and she explained that she still dreams in Dutch. I read about people in Switzerland who lived in the mountains where it snows. Having grown up in Florida by the beach, this felt extremely strange to me. It was as if I had discovered aliens. I couldn’t even fathom what it meant to live on the other side of the planet! I remember thinking how strange it is that I live in my own consciousness and not in theirs. I wished there was some way I could experience what life was like for them.

    1. That is really interesting – I remember my friend from Spain saying he dreamed in English one night and it surprised him so much and that was when he realized he had actually started to learn English.

      Have you been able to go somewhere it snows yet? What was that like – I grew up with snow so I’ve always wondered what it is like the first time someone who hasn’t is able to see snow.

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