I applied for my first passport at the age of 30.
I may have been a little late to the party, but I was no stranger to travel. I loved it. By the time I was in my 20s, I’d visited close to 30 states and territories, and had even crossed the border into Canada.
And with Brock, I found someone who shared that passion. From our earliest days as a couple, travel was our favorite form of entertainment. If we weren’t on a trip, we were planning for one.
But traveling internationally always seemed just out of reach. Too far for our limited vacation days, and too expensive for our limited budget. So when the time came to pick a destination for our honeymoon, there was no question that this would be our opportunity to finally make it happen.
We arrived in Munich on January 2, 2010. For 10 days, we raced through Germany and Austria at a breakneck pace, greedily inhaling the experience like the drowning gasp for air. We came home overwhelmed and exhausted and completely obsessed with doing it all over again… and again… and again.
We didn’t know it at the time, but that first trip abroad was our first step toward the life we’re living today. The defining moment when we realized just how big and vast this beautiful world is, and just how little we had actually explored.
As human beings, we’re all too often plagued by a fear of the unfamiliar. And though this evolutionary trait likely served our ancestors well, it fails us today, as we (at best) dismiss and (at worst) demonize that which we do not know.
Yet, despite those natural inclinations, some of us continue to push forward. We embrace the urge that compels us to cross the oceans and take to the sky, continuously searching for what lies beyond the horizon.
We travel, because we can’t imagine who we’d be without it.
Travel is the ultimate education.
It’s the only way we really learn that what unites us is, in fact, far greater than what divides us. That every morning, around the globe, good people wake up and work hard. They love their families. They laugh with their friends. They try to live a better life. And in all the ways that matter, we’re very much the same, regardless of the language we speak or the religion we practice or the country we call home.
Travel is a catalyst for the change we need in this world.
It opens hearts and it opens minds and it closes the continental divides that separate the world as we know it from the world as it actually is. It encourages us to view our history from an alternate perspective. To accept that there are infinite sides to the every story. And to realize that the center of the world exists only where our feet are firmly planted at the time.
Travel is our very best hope to live a life without borders.
It allows us share the tales of people and places that engage, inspire and move us. To explore the common passions that bridge all cultural and geographic barriers, like food and music and art and sport. To seamlessly shift between the past, the present and the future.