Almost everyone who participates in teen travel tours, service trips, and summer abroad programs... is a girl.
"Expats are expats for a reason," I recently wrote in one of my original songs, "And there's a reason I travel alone."
I won't get into the reason expats are expats (but I will say that it's not racist to call expats expats and immigrants immigrants -- it's not about skin color, but passports). But here's the main reason I travel alone: I basically designed my life around being able to travel several months a year, and most people have not.
People often say it's brave and rare for a woman to travel alone, but, empirically, it's really not.
After two months of surfing, hiking, scuba diving, and cultural experiences in Southeast Asia, I've officially returned home with a new vice:
I'm a water hoarder.
Ping pong and Katy Perry in Mandalay, Myanmar. What could be better?
You know some of my favorite places to visit? The ones where, when people hear you speaking English, they don't rush over to sell you something -- they rush over to ask you if you're from California, if you've ever met George Bush, or if you own guns.
Mindy Kaling once famously asked, "Is everyone hanging out without me?" This is a question I'd never asked myself -- until today. Because today they are. In the Bahamas. On a boat. Without me. Even though I went to ActionQuest and I'm an awesome sailor and a Master Scuba Diver.
But I digress.
The point is, there was a ton of traffic when I dropped my friend off at SFO. Like, a TON. But we spent exactly zero minutes stuck in it.
Yesterday, while sipping a honey-lavender latte at Bliss Cafe, I got to talking with the most gorgeous woman. And I don't just mean her face -- her whole soul was radiant with joy. When the topic shifted to one that is dear to me, travel, she said something fascinating:
"One week of travel produces a year's worth of memories."
Look, I get it. Travel is your thing. It's what you talk about at parties. It's what you post about on social media. And your travel stories are way better than everyone else's.
But here's the thing: if you "travel shame" people who don't travel the way you do, all it tells me is that you probably aren't that good of traveler.
In the age of technology, cheating in academia has become rampant. It's never been easier to plagiarize assignments or get outside help on an exam.
Three weeks ago, I had never heard of a place called Bonaire. But then, one day, I decided to Google "world's best shore diving," and Bonaire kept showing up -- usually in the number one spot -- on every list.
So I did an image search for Bonaire, fell in love, and booked a flight.
As my departure rapidly approached, I checked the CDC website to read their recommendations for water and food safety in Bonaire.
Like many things, the government got it all wrong.
I have spent the last two weeks diving, dancing and exploring the beautiful Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. A few weeks before that, I spent several weeks traveling in Costa Rica – so clearly I love travel and all the quirky (and even inconvenient) things that happen abroad.
I love the way your brain changes when you travel. I love the way your vocabulary changes, and I love the way your diet changes. And one thing I also come to love and appreciate more each time I leave the US… is the US.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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