I started travelling by accident but I’m sure you’ll be curious as to how or why… I was a student, I had a (small) startup, I wasn’t even thinking of starting to travel. What happened?
Circa 2012, I was working full-time already. I was still in my last year of university but with some hard work, passion, perseverance, and luck, I secured a full-time job before graduating. I built a startup but that’s for another story. While I was great and familiar with web development, I was all too new with having a job, the concept of stress, vacations, un/paid leaves, benefits, etc.
After some months I got enough savings for a vacation. I looked at my perks as an employee and I swear I asked this to myself: “What’s a vacation day? How do I use this?” ha! Well back then, I was happy with the simplest things right? Free coffee in the office? WINNING. I had no concept or experience with stress then too. So when people actually explained it to me, I knew right away how I would treat it, that is, I’m not going to use it for staycations but rather for endeavours that actually require long amounts of time (I didn’t know I was referring to international travel then).
How/Where Did I Decide to Go?
Initially, I just wanted to go to Vancouver. I’ve never been. It has the same currency, same language. This would be my “baby steps”. But when I shopped around for tickets, I discovered that it costs ~$800 CAD to go to Vancouver, while it costs ~$800 CAD as well, if not cheaper, to go to UK. I dug a little bit more and it’s the same for some parts of Europe! Iceland, Scandinavia, Central/Eastern Europe, they all have the same! So I thought to myself “with the same amount of money, I can actually have a more interesting (not to mention totally new and different) adventure!
I was nervous at first. Sure back then I said “yes I want to travel” but now that it’s in front of me, I’m getting the jitters! “How am I going to manage if I don’t know the language? how about currencies?” I had all the question you had/will have (if you’re currently thinking of your first travel 😉 ). “I can’t believe I’m actually in this point in my life that I can actually afford to do this and I’m about to make my biggest purchase ever!”.
After some talking with friends and family, I’ve finally decided:
“I’m travelling! I’m going to Sweden!”
(wait whut? How? Why Sweden?)
Yes yes yes, I’m sure you’ll be curious and asking me that. I definitely will answer that. But that post is not written yet.
At this point I had no idea was about to fall in love and start travelling!
How Did it Feel Before/During Your Flight?
I remember my first flight to Sweden: I was like a kid in a candy store! Imagine how amazed I was that I was going to the airport by myself (this was a solo travel btw), I’m going through security myself, I can stop and buy and do whatever in the airport! I was admiring the airplanes. This is also when I realized that airports are such an interesting place since everyone there is travelling with a story. Maybe someone’s travelling to visit their loved ones, their family, their romantic partners. Or maybe it’s a wedding celebration, maybe it’s bereavement leave for a great great man, you’ll never know.
(Quick) Summary of the Experience
Anyways, I’m getting sidetracked. By the way, I’ve answered the title already at this point. I’m just sharing all the good stuff now and all the joyous memories 😀 I remember I landed and the clock was different, everyone was blonde, and everyone’s taller than me haha! By the way, I say these with enthusiasm and excitement!
It was suuuuch a great trip. I’ll tell you more about that trip in the next one.
To wrap it up I flew back home impressed, amazed, motivated to do the next one. I fell in love with Sweden and Sweden will always be important to me. My circle of friends definitely expanded, albeit globally and that definitely augmented and enriched my experience. I caught the bug and I can never undo it (I wouldn’t even want to).
After that my friends would ask: “what about your plans of buying property?”. Back then I had this personal/life dream of owning a hard loft in Liberty Village in Toronto, having that cool kickass tech job, and just living the life.
Now: nope, out the window, bye Felicia (still don’t know who is).
Any day I’d trade that lifestyle for travelling.
Before I started travelling, I had everything figured out. Tell you what, I would not have expected to travel and even like it. Guess who got addicted to it. I want to try new things, eat different food (done/handled properly by actual locals who excel in their respective cuisines), I want to see different things, I want to understand different people, I want to speak different languages, and I want to connect with people from all around the world.
The previous me used to want to own a property in Toronto. Now…~well I still do. I just don’t know where. And that’s how I started travelling.