By: Lena Groom
I have always dreamed of choosing a random country to visit. Finally, one day I gained enough courage to do so. I downloaded an app and began watching flights daily….finally an opportunity fell into my lap that I knew I couldn’t turn down. A $350 round trip flight to Ireland. I knew that’d I’d be off of work because it was directly after my travel assignment was finished, so I booked it. Why wait? Little did I know, this was the first big step in a complete new direction for my life.
I’ve always known I am not the type of person that can stay in a place for too long, but now more than ever I am realizing that the more I travel, the more my passion to do so, is ignited. After having this eye-opening experience in a quick 10 day trip to Ireland, I’m not sure that standing still will ever be enough for me. To learn, to see, and to feel new cultures is now what I crave. There is no greater experience than being completely immersed in a new foreign culture.
Where did my love for travel come from though? My grandmother. My grandmother is in her 70’s and she recently got married. She married “the catch of the senior center. Not only can he still drive”, she eagerly told me.. “but…he can play tennis and is in a bowling league”. My grandmother said this and her eyes lit up, it was in that moment I could tell that he had reminded my grandmother of her zest for life and travel that she had all but forgotten about.
I’ve learned it’s not age that ages people, it’s a mentality. My step-grandfather decides to stay young, and it shows. His motto in life is that an object in motion stays in motion, and this is why he was “the catch of the senior center”. Since they’ve been married they have gone to Italy, gone on cruises, gamble, and take trips…simply because they can. At one point she was doing more traveling and enjoying more exciting things than I was at the time. Without realizing it, my grandmother helped inspire me to do everything that I am terrified of, so that’s the mentality that I went to Ireland with and will continue to live with. I’ve already experienced so many new and life-altering things because of this new mentality. It has changed who I am, who I will be, and who I want to be.