How Europe Shaped My Life
Today I want to share a more personal story, a story about when travel really became a part of me, a story about how Europe shaped my life.
I was reading an article recently that talked about this ‘wanderlust gene’. Basically, this particular gene has direct correlation with increased levels of curiosity and restlessness, for the most part, and those who carry this genetic information typically share one common theme, a history of traveling. It’s actually pretty rare and only about 20% of the global population carry this gene. I for one believe I am definitely a carrier, and it would have been passed on from my mum.
As you can see from the image, I started travelling at a very young age, 18 months to be precise. I always thought I was just infected with the travel bug, but as it turns out, I must’ve been born with the ‘wanderlust gene’. One trait I’m glad my mum passed down to me.
By the age of 21 I’d already visited Europe four times, and since then I’ve visited many other places as well. You see, all of my grandparents are Italian and they migrated to Australia after WWII (I’ll share their stories another time). I suppose the Italian heritage has always drawn me to Italy, and it’s surrounds.
I’ve visited Europe at many stages of my life – childhood, teenage years and coming into adulthood and I can definitely say the place has left a mark on me.
Childhood in Europe – I was 18 months old so it’s hard to say what I really learnt. I met beautiful relatives, visited incredible places, and ran amok, but I don’t really remember any of it. The bits I can picture in my mind have been put together from photos, video snippets, and stories my parents have told me. But I guess one thing that came from this first trip was a deep and everlasting tie to the place. One that will always be very dear for me.
My teenage years – this time I was 15 and no longer the only child. I had to compete against my brother and sister for the attention of our relatives. We got to visit the birthplaces of our grandparents, and even stay in the homes they grew up in (well the ones that were still standing). This was a really treasured experience for me and it’s a holiday I will forever cherish.
Teenage years continued – at 17 I decided to go on my first holiday without my family.. I had finished high school and was ready to conquer the world. Myself and two good high school friends went on the most amazing adventure through London, Paris, Slovakia & Italy. This holiday was a big learning curve for me. The shy, scared little school girl really grew and came out of her shell on this trip.
Finally adulthood – 22 and ready for a three month European extravaganza, this one was one of the most amazing and challenging experiences of my life. Four weeks into my trip my nonno passed away, I found out the day before I was about to join a five week tour, and the last thing I wanted to do was meet a whole bunch of new people who just wanted to party. I was so close to calling it quits and flying home to be with my family, but they assured me it wasn’t what nonno would have wanted. I ended up staying and having the time of my life, I made lifelong friendships and lasting memories.
And that’s how Europe shaped my life. Each of those holidays defined me as a person and made me grow into who I am today. To me, travel seriously is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer, and I strongly urge you to do it if you can. Go out and experience other cultures, witness the wonder of nature, connect with people from all different walks of life. There is nothing better and more rewarding for the soul, than travel.
Want to know how I’m combining my passion for travel and writing to earn an income online? You can travel the world while running a profitable blog, and never feel like you’re working a day in your life.
P.S. If you like what you’ve read feel free to like, comment, or share. Your time reading my post is greatly appreciated. 🙂
**Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. The services I have recommended are the services I personally use and honestly recommend to anyone wishing to start a business of their own. No extra costs are incurred for you; the referral commission simply contributes to bringing you valuable content. The links have changed since the post was originally written as I have now found a service that suits me better, and I believe will be the same for you.