How I caught the travel bug | Mackenzie
When I was 17, I went abroad for the first time without my mom. Before I had gone to Mexico quite a few times as a kid, but this was the big one. The long flight. The time I was actually going to a place I had been wanting to go to since I was 13 and started taking French: I was finally going to Paris.
I blame Paris for my travel bug. It was the first place that I celebrated a birthday with strangers. It was the first place where I wasn’t super comfortable with the language but got by on ‘merci’ and ‘je voudrais …’ and smiles and pointing. It was the first place where I realized how tiny the world was but how much of it there is to see.
I stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower with the four other students in my French class while they sang me Happy Birthday on my 18th birthday and the whole city sparkled from below. I walked cobblestone streets while laughing at as our French tour guide Anne-Laure swore at passing cars in both French and English, ‘they are bastards, non?’
Paris was the start of everything for me. The start of this crazy obsession and, according to Travel and Leisure, the addiction I soon realized I had in a bad, bad way.
Quickly after landing back home, I was looking up flights abroad again: London, Dublin, Oslo, Lucerne—I wanted, no, needed to gobble everything up and leave no part unexplored.
A year later, I was on another flight by myself to London for a couple days before taking the train back to Paris and further on to Rome. It’s been almost 10 years since that initial trip, 56 cities, 15 countries, and way more flights than I can remember, and I’m still always looking for that next trip.