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Why I LOVE Travel

Why do I love to travel and do it without hesitation? Let me take you back to a pivotal moment in my life, one that not only ignited my passion for exploration but also showcased the unwavering support and sacrifice of my family.

I started a vision board before vision boards became popular, filling it every year with at least three goals, aspirations, and what inspired me. Among these dreams, since high school, was the desire to travel to another country. It all began when my best friend excitedly shared her plans to visit Europe the following summer with the school. Enthralled by the idea, I considered joining her. However, a glance at the flyer revealed a harsh reality – the cost was beyond what my family could afford, especially with the financial strain of funding my education.

Fast forward to my orientation at Texas A&M, where my determination to explore the world remained undiminished. I approached the Study Abroad table, fueled by an insatiable thirst for adventure. Despite the financial hurdles, I declared to my uncle, "I am going to go to another country." His silent nod spoke volumes, acknowledging my ambition without dampening my spirits.

Upon setting foot on campus, I made it my mission to figure out how to make studying abroad a reality. Research led me to a program in Germany, aligned with my degree. Yet, as I delved deeper, the daunting reality of the expenses hit me like a ton of bricks. It seemed an impossible feat. But fate intervened in the form of an unexpected encounter. The program's instructor, unaware of my financial constraints, excitedly announced my participation to acquaintances from my hometown. Suddenly, the pressure mounted, and doubts flooded my mind.

Back at home, tears streaming down my face after a disheartening encounter at church, I confided in my mom and grandma. Their unwavering support shone through the darkness of uncertainty.

"My mom and grandma heard me crying," I recounted, "they asked why, and I told them what happened."

My mom's fury was palpable. "I told her not to say anything but being who she is, she did not bite her tongue and approached the church member."

After her confrontation, my mom turned to me with unwavering determination. "If you want to go, we will find a way, we always have and we always will," she assured me.

My grandma, sensing my inner turmoil, gently probed further. "Is this something that you really want to do?" she asked. "Or what is it?"

I hesitated, overwhelmed by guilt. "It is something that I always wanted to do but we cannot afford it, so I do not need to go," I replied.

But my grandma persisted. "That’s not what I asked," she insisted. "Is this something you really want to do?"

With tears in my eyes, I whispered, "Yes."

"Okay," she said softly, "I will talk to your uncles, and we will figure out how we can get you there."

Filled with gratitude but also a profound sense of responsibility, I resolved to contribute whatever I could. Selling cherished possessions became a means to an end, each item symbolizing a step closer to my dream. Yet, it was the selfless generosity of my family that truly astounded me. Witnessing my mom's sacrifice, emptying her pockets to fund a flight, remains etched in my memory. Likewise, my uncles and grandma rallied behind me, offering support without hesitation or expectation.

Thus, armed with their unwavering encouragement and selfless sacrifices, I embarked on a journey that transcended geographical boundaries. From Germany to Sweden, and beyond, each destination enriched my soul and broadened my horizons. Serendipity intervened, weaving unexpected encounters into the fabric of my travels, including meeting my now-husband during my exchange in Sweden.

Reflecting on my journey, I realize that my love for travel isn't merely about exploring new landscapes; it's a testament to the resilience, love, and sacrifices of my family. Their steadfast belief in me transformed what seemed impossible into a reality, instilling in me a profound gratitude and determination to pay their kindness forward.

They never discouraged me or told me, "No, we cannot afford to do this." Instead, they said, "Go," "Yes," "Do it for all of us," and more. It was through their sacrifice that I found my love for travel. One day, I hope to return the favor to them all. I want them to be able to witness with their own eyes the beauty of traveling to countries that we’ve seen on TV and read about in books.

As I continue to traverse the globe, I carry with me not only memories of breathtaking vistas but also the invaluable lessons learned from my family's unwavering support. For it is through their sacrifices that I've come to understand the true beauty of exploration – not merely as a solitary endeavor but as a shared journey of love, resilience, and boundless possibilities.

One day, I hope to reciprocate their kindness, enabling them to witness firsthand the wonders of the world they've only glimpsed through my adventures. Until then, I travel not only for myself but for all those who believed in me when others including myself doubted, sacrificing without hesitation to see me soar.

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