We have all heard of the ‘travel bug’. A bug that bites and latches onto curious, wandering minds that seek the desire to travel.
Almost everybody gets bitten at some point in their life, in some the bite may fade out, however in others this bite may only deepen and deepen, with the only cure being to seek more travelling.
I was bitten 2 years ago, when i decided that moving to a university only an hour away was NOT enough of a travelling adventure as what i first thought, and therefore found myself looking into summer work programmes across the world for me to embark on.
Within seconds of searching, the big USA was the big stand out. You guessed it. Camp America was about to rescue me from a very standard and very dull British Summer. It was perfect, perfect for my curious mind, and the perfect first steps in expanding my teaching skills in my chosen degree of dance. I was ready and eager.
(Camp was the most amazing experience and one that will stay with me for life, its what everyone says i know, but i really can not put into words what i learnt and achieved that summer- Bias YES, but i would seriously recommend this to everyone thinking about doing it)
From the second i stepped foot into gatwick airport on my own, wheeling my big suitcase (wishing i had packed a backpack instead) i was bitten by this world known, travel bug. There is something about doing it on your own, the thrill, the excitement, the nerves and the pressure.. it was like being chucked into a birthday party and not knowing anyone. Nerve racking, but exhilarating.
I literally hopped, skipped and jumped off the plane, and as you can probably already tell, my chatter box self was already chatting to other fellow campers who were also about to embark on their journey. The bug had bitten again, a little harder then the last. I was making conversations with strangers, laughing and sharing stories with people i had met for literally 5 mins- was it the american air? NO, it was the pure thrill of not knowing and the excitement of this new adventure ahead. Being able to share this excitement with others was a magical thing.
3 months later and camp is over. Emotional… yes, tired… yes, ready to see some more of America.. OH YES!
Chicago, St Louis, Boston and New York was my route.
All so different, so unique, each a different feel, different air. My time in each was all spent so differently, some in hostels some in friends houses, some with a group of people, some completely on my own. Times spent shopping, times spent sitting and staring, times spent eating, times spent exploring history or times spent trying to wave down a New York taxi. Each state gave me a completely different experience. I guess thats what the bug does to you.. keeps you on your toes, keeps your mind and eyes busy, constantly giving you a new pulse of energy as you surround yourself in new things.
It goes without saying that travelling is about enjoying another countries cultural, and involving yourself in their cultural activities – being able to tick off the world famous sightings such as the statue of liberty, world trade centre, central park and the St Louis archway plus many more is more than what some of my friends and family could say. However for me personally, the bug bites me hardest and deepest for the friends i have met along the way, and the friendships that I have built around the world.
Becoming best friends with a stranger and continuing that friendship is what (for me) travelling is all about. They are the ones that make the experience, they are the ones that share your memories and they are the ones that got bitten also.