A few of you have asked why I do what I do–what makes me, as a travel advisor, different? Here’s the short version;)
Both my parents immigrated to the United States and taught me by example to not only embrace “new” and “different”, but to seek it out, in order to truly own my experiences. This actually became my way of life: Between the ages of 0-18, I lived in 14 different places. I spent every summer of my childhood living with family (whom I continue to visit frequently) in Germany and Austria; sent to them on my own for the first time when I was six years old. I graduated from an international high school in Brazil. Vagabonded through Europe by myself after college. Met my husband and got married in Montana. And finally put down roots when I landed in Maine on a whim in 1996–literally: “Let’s move here! They get a lot of sunny days and have a cool live-music scene!”
When I travel, no matter how many people I may be with, I become closer to my own true essence; traveling reminds me to savor each moment. When something is new—a new view, a new language, a new flavor, a new smell—it’s easy to pause and relish in the newness. By paying closer attention to everything, I become intimately more connected with my world. When I come home from traveling–no matter how near or far from home I’ve gone–I want that vibrant immediacy and connection to linger. So I make a conscious effort to bring that awareness into my everyday life.
The greatest gift you can give yourself AND the world, is to travel to a place that makes you a little uncomfortable. Every sense is heightened and all synapses are firing. You naturally allow yourself to open up to being taught new things, to try new flavors, to just go with the local flow. When you open your consciousness like that, you rediscover who you really are, and you’re reminded of all that each of us has in common with every person on earth. And when you bring those gifts home with you, the people around you benefit as much as you do.
It would be my honor to share with you that absolute magic that comes from opening yourself up to the “new” and the “different”—to make leaving your comfort zone a bit more comfortable.
My parents on their wedding day. My dad came to America as a “displaced person” as a child, after being ethnically cleansed out of Poland after WW2. My mom came over shortly before this photo was taken–they had met and gotten engaged while my dad was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War.
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