Sooooo how the heck did I even become interested in travel in the first place ? This probably should have been the first post on this thannnng (my apologies for just now thinking of it lol) But the story goes like this… It started when I was about 14 years old. I went with my brother and cousins to Maderia, Portugal for three months…without our parents. My 12 year old brother and I stayed in our parents apartment on the island, about a 5 minute walk from the beach, with our 16 year old cousin who acted as our supervisor. Considering how strict my parents were growing up, this may come as a shock to some of you lol. But however strict they were, my parents always encouraged travel, even at a young age (clearly), and I am SO thankful for that. Later on in life, I was working for a bank (I was 17) when my cousin invited me on a trip to Costa Rica. I was talking to my dad about it and had basically already decided I would not go because I had to work. I specifically remember how he looked at me for a long time and said…”Why wouldn’t you go? You’re 17. You’re not married, have no kids, no real bills to pay and time off school. Ask for the time off work. And if they don’t give it to you.. quit. Just find another job- it’s not that serious.” – and this, my friends, is when the lightbulb went off (dink!) I bought my flight to Costa Rica a week before I left. I had an amazing time on the trip. In fact, it was during a beautiful night sipping champagne in our hotel, listening to the tropical rain fall from our room balcony, that the idea for our trip to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (that December) was born. – By the time we were backpacking through South America, I had quit my banking job lol. My cousin and I bought our flights to Rio de Janeiro a month before we left, and our return flight from Buenos Aires two days before we left. Slightly crazy, some would say.. I like to think of it as adding spontaneity to our lives =) Anyways, by this time I was hooked. I continued to visit Mexico several times (my mom is from Mexico) and make other trips to Madeira. Then about two years ago, I got the Euro bug and decided it was time to attempt backpacking through western Europe. I had originally planned on going solo and meeting up with a girlfriend who was studying abroad in Paris, but my brother and cousin joined in on the adventure. We went to Lisbon- Portugal, Barcelona and Madrid-Spain, Paris- France, Amsterdam-The Netherlands, Frankfurt- Germany and ended our 6 week stay with the final two weeks spent in Madeira. Once again, only our initial flight to Europe and return flight to the US were booked. Hostels and transport from one city to the next were all booked once we were already in Europe. –> BTW, I strongly suggest doing this. It may see scary not having any set plans or not knowing where you’re going to sleep for the majority of your stay, but it gives you more flexibility in choosing what cities you want to visit. Honestly, traveling on impulse is the best. Our everyday lives are engulfed with routine and structure, its important to break away from that habit from time to time. Since Europe, I’ve been to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (with my family) as well as Hawaii, New York, and Washington DC. In all, I’ve been to 12 countries so far =) and cannot wait for that list to continue growing!