When I was 15, I went to Spain. I was supposed to have a Quinceañera- a ball to celebrate my coming of age as a young lady. But I didn't want a ball because I knew I wasn't a princess. I convinced my extremely cautious mom to let me go on a study abroad program instead. I broke tradition (I seem to always do). Vegetarian, attempting to recover from years of depression and constant doctor visits, and incredibly asocial, I packed my bags. To this day, that was the only time I've ever packed for a trip without being the slightest bit concerned about what was in my bag. Before red lipstick, cat-eye eyeliner, and designer watches, I was a tomboy who didn't know the meaning of fashion or true identity. Despite my reserved demeanor, I did know one thing-
I wanted to travel.
As incapable of having a conversation with someone as I was, I had this dream of traveling. I was certain that through various travels to various lands, I would find my people. That month in Spain changed my life. I remember every detail and people's faces as if it was yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I went with an amazing group of kids my age with whom I never became close with because of my demeanor, so I didn't change, but I did transform. After I got back to New York with a tan and memories of pushing myself to my limit (hiking from one side of the Pyrenees to another), I understood what I wanted out of life. At this time, I was already painting and fantasizing about someday illustrating the album reviews section of Rolling Stone magazine, but that was what I did.
Wanderlust was who I was becoming and who I am now.
Ever since, I have made it my mission to travel as much as possible, even when circumstances made it difficult. As a broke college student, I managed to go to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vancouver, and Germany by dedicating every penny I made from my crappy retail job and with a little help from my friends (exactly what The Beatles taught me). After graduating, I made my way to Paris. I could have gone to more parties, bought more things, and maybe gotten a pedicure or two, but instead, I felt getting out of town was my priority. Prone to indecisiveness and admittedly one of the most impatient people I know, I am whole-hearted in my travels. Someone once told me: "constant travel is for the rich" and I cannot tell you how untrue that is. Because your time and money is really dedicated to whatever you want it to be, so if you rather save $25,000 for a car than on living in another city, that's what you should do.