What's next on your list?
Morocco, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey!
Where have you lived, worked or traveled abroad long-term?
I taught English in Nepal through a volunteer program after I graduated from college. I first taught in a rural village about 2 hours outside of Kathmandu in a low-income school and then moved on to Pokhara where I tutored children in an orphanage. I absolutely loved this experience and there probably isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it.
Recently, my husband and I saved for 2 years and decided to drop everything to travel the world for 8 months. We hit multiple countries in South America and Europe. I’ve never regretted our decision for one second to freely and openly travel. Even though it was difficult to leave everything behind and continue our journey upon arriving home.
What was one of your most memorable travel experiences?
This is another hard one to answer because I have a vault of thousands in my memory. However, because this was one of my first experiences, I’ll say my arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal. Prior to this, I’d only been to Europe and had never visited a third world country.
I will never forget that car ride from the airport to the “hotel”. There were fires in the street, cows eating out of trash cans, dogs everywhere, people banging on the taxi window. The buildings seemed dilapidated and some roads in the capital were made of dirt (there was only one street light at the time in the entire city). At the time I was scared, appalled, and cried upon entering my hotel room.
I think back to that experience all the time and understand why I felt that way, but laugh. I truly realized how first impressions of a country, a city, a person, a situation, etc. can be so wrong and how important it is to step out of your comfort zone once in a while. I entered and departed from that country crying. But I cried the second time because I knew how much Nepal had changed me and how sad I was to leave.
Best travel advice?
Travel is not for the faint of heart and it isn’t always easy (as many Instagram accounts may make you think). Leaving your cats behind, moving out of your home, feeling FOMO (fear of missing out) with friends and family, and then traveling to a place where you don’t know anyone or how anything works can suck. BUT. Everything you gain from travel makes up for everything you feel that you lost during that time you were gone.