Where My Travel Bug Began (Cydny’s story)

 Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia, Italy

 

I took a step back and was thinking about my motivation to see the world.

 

Thirty countries, thirty-three states, and six continents, I want more.  

 

Taking a deep breath, I reminisced about my very first trip abroad in 2006.

 

I was in college, but I did not jump on the opportunity to study abroad, an experience I do regret. Thankfully, what I did act on was the chance to visit friends that studied overseas. Twice.

 

My very first trip alone, without my parents, was to Florence, Siena, and Sardinia, Italy as well as Barcelona, Spain. A two-week adventure. My favorite part of this memory is I took the opportunity to see the world with someone I barely knew.

 

I’ll never forget her. Alex.

 I once had long hair! 😉 Cydny & alex

I once had long hair! 😉 Cydny & alex

 

If it wasn’t for her, that spark in my gut to never stop exploring may have never been discovered.

 

At the time I was a student at The Fashion Institute of Technology, a Display & Exhibit Design Major.

 

Yeah I know, it only lasted a year.

 

Gym class was a general requirement.

 

Don’t even get me started.

 

Out of all the class options, I opted for Flamenco dancing, as did Alex. Once a week we crossed paths in the studio and began to bond over our high elbows and rolling wrists. Early into the semester, Alex had talked about her plans to experience live flamenco in Spain. I remember enviously listening to her. At the time my mind consisted solely of NYC adventures. To say I was a bit of a partier was an understatement. I loved the NYC nightlife and seeing how far my fake ID would serve me.

 

Sorry, Mom.

 Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

The thought of going abroad simply wasn’t an option in my mind. But here she was, Alex,  my age, and making that happen. The idea never even occurred to me to explore outside of the states, but this conversation had me intrigued.

 

Alex began explaining how her friend from home is studying abroad in Florence. She planned to stay there and travel along with her and her roommates.

 

Smart…. See the world. Latch onto a free place to stay… I see.

 

She blindly stated, “Why don’t you come?”

 

The golden words. Seriously people, don’t say this to me unless you know what may come out of it.

 

It was the spring semester and my birthday falls in April. I begged my parents for a plane ticket as my gift.

 

I want nothing else, I will save and work hard for this trip, just pleeaassee get me that ticket.”

 

Sure enough, they did.

 celebrating my 20th birthday on top of the gaudi park, barcelona

celebrating my 20th birthday on top of the gaudi park, barcelona

I remember returning back from that trip swollen. Well chubby. I indulged in everything. Cheese, bread, pasta, wine. Everything tasted so fresh and delicious.I slept in crazy hostels and flew on cheap airlines (one that offered a rollercoaster of a landing). We devoured all the flavors of Italy, toured the sites, partied in the streets, and created memories of a lifetime.

 

I will forever be thankful for Alex who invited me on a whim. It was four girls who I barely knew that took me along for the ride and opened that door to the world that has forever stayed in my heart.

 

The following year I jumped on a similar opportunity. This time my friend from home was going to Florence. Best believe I asked for another ticket for my birthday. We explored Florence, Rome, and Vatican City, and after I returned I scouted for my next chance to get away.

Anyone want to invite Marc and I over? 

 basilica di santa maria, florence

basilica di santa maria, florence

 

What was the trip that got you most inspired to continue traveling?

Share with us your favorite memories. 😀

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