12:12 PM at the office, and the phone buzzes with a picture text from my Mom. She often sends childhood photos of my sister and I in highly unattractive sun dresses and straw hats. Occasionally, random recycled cat GIFs from family members come up.
“About the Author… Oh, gosh, this is from one of my elementary school ‘everyone is an author’ days”. I shook my head as I recalled loving Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-sitters Club to the brink of insanity (Stacy was never all that). “She also hopes to travel around the world to see new places.”
I smiled to myself, surprised that even as a child without internet and social media suffocation, I had the desire and concept to travel. What I knew of the world then had come from half faded textbooks. Almost all were filled with various pictures of tribes, cliffs above oceans, and sunsets- sometimes all in the same photo. I read my words again: “She also hopes to travel.” Reading The Baby-sitters Club with a flashlight underneath a Minnie Mouse blanket, and collecting Spice Girls’ lollipop stickers clearly reigned supreme in my nine year old mind. Travel was an afterthought.
While my quarter life crisis approaches and implodes, so has the epiphany that travel cannot be an afterthought. I want to see the world, experience life’s moments, and any other cliché quote people Instagram with #wanderlust. Travel has transformed me into a more passionate and independent individual; following a time when I had created a shell of dependence during a dark period of recluse. Unable to be alone and comfortable with my thoughts, travel- business travel in particular- forced me to experience and value “me time”. Walking alone into a bar in London, and requesting a table for one is not going to be a personal stigma. I will damn well enjoy a lager alone, too!
Journeying with beloved friends and my partner will always be something I look forward to. But I can embrace and appreciate being a solo traveler. There is value in wandering through unseen sights, alone with only your own wit to rely on. Business travel days are over for the time being, and returning to the office has never been more painful. I do not hate my job, although it may appear that way. I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to venture to Europe for the first time, stay in remarkable five star hotels, and eat divine meals I can’t afford.
I am just tired of the mundane in my white walled second home. In an attempt to live vicariously through previous travels, and to record my past and future trips as I journey to #30countriesby30, SKB Travels the World has been born.