I’M IN EUROPE RIGHT NOW!!!!! Ohhhhhh boiiiiiiiiii!
So if you’ve known me for any period of time, you know I love traveling. I’ve been doing solo travel for ten years now, starting with my first solo trip to Germany in 2009. This time? I’m hitting my thirtieth country, Barcelona. My 31st will be Andorra!
Thirty countries in a decade. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. After hitting my 300th wedding back in May, I’m all about milestones this year. The one thing that is different this time is that I’m looking forward to coming home. I have a partner that I’m deeply in love with and we’ll be moving forward with our relationship at the end of the summer. It’s all so exciting and while I am so excited to be overseas, I am equally stoked to be coming home!
I remember how when I went to Thailand in 2014, it completely changed my life. More specifically, the elephants changed my life. I wept when I saw them coming towards me for the first time. Their breadth of energy, their presence, was awe inspiring. Hearing their stories of abuse and watching them continue to be gentle shifted something massive inside me. Funny enough, that exact experience is why I’m shooting this wedding in England! But I digress.
Elephants changed my life. I went from being unable to handle touch by most people, to suddenly becoming a hugger. I remember shocking my friends at the time when I consented to a hug for the first time. I came home from that trip feeling so EXCITED and full of JOY. What I didn’t quite grasp yet was that my partner at the time….did not go through the same things. I showed up, willing to put so much more into us…and he just wasn’t there.
That makes travel hard. It makes being a traveler hard. I’ve collected all of these experiences and lessons, but few people actually care about other people’s experiences and it is certainly impossible to absorb those experiences through osmosis. So I travel with the goal of self-exploration and self-improvement. It isn’t about bragging on social media, it isn’t about collecting mugs (yes it is), it’s about learning more patience, empathy and varied perspectives that I can take home with me. So fingers crossed this trip gives me what I need in this life. I need it.