I never traveled a lot as a kid. While my family did the customary road trips to see my grandparents and a few trips to Disney in Orlando, we never went overseas. There were no trips to Europe, Mexico, or even Canada. We weren’t a traveling family, which I always considered weird since my dad backpacked through Europe and Israel after college.
In college, the furthest I ever got was Montreal for spring break, about a 7 hour drive from my hometown of Boston. My friends and I were too poor to go anywhere big and famous like Cancun or Jamaica.
It wasn’t until after I graduated college in 2003 that I began to think about travel. I started working at a hospital and realized that when you get 3 weeks vacation per year, you take and go somewhere. But where to go? I’ve never been anywhere and I certainly didn’t know anything about travel. I had always assumed what the TV told me – travel was expensive, it was luxurious, and there were only hotels or dirty hostels to stay in.
After researching some tour companies, deciding Australia would be too expensive, I somehow landed on G adventures and saw their Costa Rica Explorer tour. It’s been so many years that I can’t remember the exact reason why I picked that tour but whatever I was thinking back then, one day after they invent time travel, I want to go back and thank myself. That trip changed my life.
In April 2004, I went to Costa Rica for two weeks. I had no idea what to expect. I went alone. All I wanted to do was see monkeys and lie on the beach. I was filled with all these fears – what if everyone on my group was old? What if my roommate was weird? What if my lack of Spanish made things difficult? What if, what if, what if!
Turned out, I was worried about nothing. My Costa Rica trip was mindblowingly awesome. Every day was an adventure. The people on my tour were really nice, my roommate and I got along (we’re still friends 8 years later!), and guide was really helpful. I just kept thinking to myself – why did I wait so long to do this? Why wasn’t I traveling earlier? Why did no one tell me travel was so great?
I was already thinking about my next trip before I even went home. I was hooked. I had the travel bug. There was no going back. When I got home, I begin saving all my sick and vacation days so I could get away as soon as possible. I worked overtime. I wanted to travel. All the time. It was much more exciting than my life in the cubicle.
Early next year in 2005, I went to Thailand. It was there I decided that two weeks wasn’t enough for a holiday. I came home, quit my job, finished my MBA, and have been traveling the world since 2006. Since then I’ve been to over 60 countries, criss crossed the globe, started a popular travel blog, and have done G Adventures tours in Costa Rica, Italy, the Galapagos Islands, and soon Japan.
And it’s all because I went with G to Costa Rica all those years ago. I just thought I was going on vacation. Turned!