It’s interesting to stop and think about what initially sparked the desire to travel often. Was it a semester abroad? Childhood travels? A book?
For me, it is my dad: The person who introduced me to language barriers and foreign roads. Taking our family on work trips when I was a kid, we went off-the-beaten track as much as possible, staying in remote villages in Liechtenstein and finding tiny restaurants along the Costa Brava.
I remember our rental car pulling up to a small farm house in Peratallada, Spain, and wondering “How does he FIND these places? Does he just Google ‘farthest town from nearest road’?'”
The woman who ran this little farm guest house was named Daniella. She didn’t speak English, but we didn’t need a common language to communicate, and I’ll always remember her as one of the most hospitable people I’ve met on the road.
It’s in these places my dad took us- the hills of western Ireland or kayaking in the Pacific Northwest, that I learned how to really connect with a place. When I travel now, I find myself looking for those hidden corners, and wanting to learn the stories of the people who live there. Thanks to my dad, these “off-the-beaten-path” experiences have become my foundation. They’ve shaped me into who I am now, and I can only give thanks.
Cheers to the all of the people who inspired us to travel!