By Tonya Vrba (details of the author at the bottom)
Do you know where Iowa is at? It’s okay if you don’t. Some people in the United States don’t even know where the state of Iowa is at. Tucked away in the heart of the Midwest, Iowa is what we call fly over country. Not much happens here outside of farming corn and raising pigs. Election years always bring a lot of attention, but it’s not always good attention. With that said, the state is a fine place to live. It’s nice, comforting and mostly safe. Growing up here has been nice, but after 22 years, I’m ready to get out. The travel bug bit me a long time ago. I’ve been dreaming of world travel since I was a young girl and now, I finally have the ability to act on my desires.
Against the protest of certain family members, I set off to Northern Ireland to study abroad last year. There is nothing like leaving your own country for another. When I left, the value I saw in travel was to experience different cultures and visit famous ruins. While that still holds true, there is something else you get from exploring other countries that you can’t get within your own. Going abroad gave me a completely new perspective on my own country. Instead of being enveloped in the new and propaganda of the United States, I was able to look on my home country as an outside observer. For this reason, returning to the states created just as much culture shock as when I left. Suddenly, I was surrounded by everything American, but I was still looking at my country as if I was outside of it. This is something I want to hold on to. There is no better way to understand how your country is affecting the world than to be outside looking in.
As my parents see it, there is so much to the United States to explore that the cost of going anywhere else in unnecessary. I do understand their point. There are things here I haven’t seen. The Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls, for example, are on my list of must see attractions. Somehow, those things pale in comparison to the thought of visiting the Great Barrier Reef near Australia or Machu Picchu in Peru. What about the Taj Mahal in India or the Great Pyramids of Egypt. These are things I simply must see!
While graduating college does give me more freedom, I also have more responsibility. Soon, I will have student loans to pay off and an adult job. How will I ever see the world? Honestly, the thought terrifies me sometimes. There is so much of this world to see that it’s nearly impossible to do it all in one life time. This only serves to solidify my ambition to see the world. I have one life to live so I might as well live it.
I’m not sure if other countries have a plethora of credit cards which offer flight miles for rewards, but I plan to jump on that as soon as possible. When I think about the expense of travel, I’m most concerned about paying for the flight. I’m still a bit skeptical about couchsurfing, but I like the idea. I assume I will probably do most of my world travel alone. When in Northern Ireland, I had various friends who took expensive trips I couldn’t go on and others who had family come to travel with them. Having neither money to spend or a family to spend money for me, there are many things I didn’t see. Looking back, I wish I would have just traveled alone to some of the places I was interested it. Reading about couchsurfing, I think I can be super cautious and not find myself robbed or raped.
Thinking on the future, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that ordinary people travel to extraordinary places all the time. Whether I am swimming in money or have just enough to save for one big trip every decade, I am confident I will see the world. I’ve set the bar low for my life. I want will set foot on every continent in this world. This travel bug is the best!
Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She writes frequently about health, career and dating issues. Tonya currently writes with http://www.onlinedatingsites.net/. Learn more about her work at here: http://tonyavrba.wordpress.com/