Oh boy. Get ready for a behind the scenes look at my life and how I caught the travel bug. I wanted to share some personal stories with you to give you a sense of who I am, why I’m writing about travel, and how I got here. Sharing personal details doesn’t come easy to me so, here it goes. *deep breath*
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that travel became an integral part of who I am. All I know is that it is now, and will be for the rest of my life. I first remember travelling with my family as a child, we went to Disney in Florida and then Hawaii when I was a little older. I remember feeling in awe of the natural beauty of Hawaii and vowing to come back one day – I was only 11. Then when I was 13, I decided to do a French exchange program for a summer. So, I flew to Paris all by myself and lived with a French family for a month. It was scary, and wonderful, and hard, and life changing, all at once. I think this was my first real taste of how amazing other places and other cultures could be. That also started my life long life affair with French bread and cheese – yum!
Model Du Monde
Shortly after this, my life took an unexpected turn. I entered a modelling contest at the request of my best friend – and I won. This was never a dream of mine, I didn’t want to go into the contest and when I won, I wasn’t sure I was even interested in claiming the prize – an all expenses paid trip to New York City and a bunch of photo shoots. To make a long story short, I went on the trip, and ended up signing contracts with agencies around the world. For the next 6 years I would travel the globe, working as a model, running my own business and learning a lot about the world – some good, some not so good. Overall though, the experience helped to make me into who I am today, it helped me be brave and live outside of my comfort zone. It helped me have confidence in myself. It helped me grow up. It helped me identify my priorities. It helped me develop a deep-seated love of travel and a yearning to see all the amazing people, places and things this world has to offer.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go
I had to make a choice. I was finishing high school and had been accepted into 3 of the countries best universities with scholarships. I have always loved school but the allure of working, travelling, and making money were hard to resist. In my career as a model I had been featured on covers of magazines, walked in fashion shows and had a taste of how big the world really is – I knew I couldn’t stay in one place for too long. It was a very difficult choice for me at the time, but I decided to quit modelling and go to university.
Looking back it was the best decision I could have made. Modelling was exciting but there were parts of the business I did not like and I knew it was only a matter of time until I was considered too old (believe it or not 25 is considered old for a model) and then where would I be? With my stuff packed, I left my hometown and went off to school. It was during university that I discovered a passion for the environment. I loved learning about how the world works and how important the natural environment is in everything that we do. I remember sitting down and reading an entire environmental science textbook – just for fun. I know…..N.E.R.D.
During my years at school, I looked for opportunities to travel whenever and wherever I could. I travelled with Family. I travelled with Friends. I travelled alone. Having a newfound interest in the environment I began noticing all of the natural beauty that existed in the places I visited and I made a conscious effort to seek out eco-tours and spend as much time in nature as I could. My appreciation for travel had evolved, I now enjoyed exploring nature as much as I enjoyed touring cities. During this time I also became a certified scuba diver, which opened up my world in another way. The Earth is 70% covered in water, and now I had developed a passion for exploring the marine environment, and appreciating the amazing creatures that live there.
It’s a Big Big World
As the number of countries I had visited continued to increase, I found myself realizing that life was so much more than a single place. I realized quite young that I truly wanted to be a citizen of the world. I truly believe that travel can open your mind in ways nothing else can.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – Saint Augustine
There is a lot that happened along the way, but by now I’m sure you have read more than enough about me for one day *yeesh, is she done yet?* So, to make a long story short (well, less long), I decided to start Earthly Traveller as both a personal diary of my travels that I can hopefully use to help and inspire others, and as a means to pursue a life long dream of writing a book that looks to local solutions for global change.
I want to hear from you!
Hope you were okay with this sneak peek into my life. I would love to hear more about yours, what inspires you? How did you catch the travel bug?
SEE THE WORLD, MAKE IT BETTER.
~ Earthly Traveller