Have you ever wondered how globetrotters fell in love with traveling in the first place?
For me, I think back to one specific life-changing experience that sparked my love affair with traveling the world. This first experience eventually led me to quit my 9-5 job to move across the world and ultimately led me to pursue my travel dreams full time. Heck, I even got a tattoo to commemorate that experience!
For others, it’s less of one specific experience and more of a multi-page love letter. I asked six of my favorite female travel bloggers to share their love stories with me, and here’s what they had to say:
Gloria Atanmo of The Blog Abroad
“However cliche it may sound, travel is something that I’ve fallen in love with over and over again, and the first trip I took solo was to Edinburgh, Scotland where I would quickly learn how adrenaline-filled, empowering, and liberating the feeling of travel can be.
Coming from a sheltered Nigerian upbringing in California, everything I knew about life was very curated and structured, so the idea that I could go places, form my own opinions, seek new friendships, cultivate inspiring relationships, and allow these moments to shape the better part of me was mind-blowing.
Though Scotland was the place that birthed my wanderlust, I still feel those same butterflies in Brazil, Namibia, and Japan. As you grow, you find new ways to challenge yourself, to better yourself, and to ultimately find complete gratitude with the lifestyle you’ve created that allows this feeling to be your everyday reality.”
Gloria Atanmo is a travel blogger, author, and digital storyteller, with a narrative set on inspiring others to discover the world of knowledge out there that simply can’t be taught in a classroom. Living out of a suitcase for almost 5 years, she’s trotted through over 60 countries across 6 continents and has no desire of slowing down anytime soon.
Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse
“I can trace my love affair with traveling back to so many moments, but one that really sticks out is Mozambique. This was already several years into this endless trip I’m on, but it made me realize that even places that are labeled as scary or ‘dangerous’ for solo female travelers can shatter expectations.
Mozambique is still probably my favorite overall travel experience for the beauty, the amazing people I met, and the reaffirmation that solo traveling is and always will be the best way to travel for the serendipity of it.”
Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and left California in 2012, Kristin has solo traveled the world for over four years, covering every continent (except for Antarctica, but it’s on her list).
Jessica Nabongo of The Catch Me if You Can
“Not everyone is born where they belong. I am a traveler. I always have been. From the age of six when my parents took me on my first trip to Uganda to spinning the family globe in the basement of our home and looking up different locations in the encyclopedia, I always explored the world, both physically and as a matter of daydreaming. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, my parents took us to various Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, the UK, and of course multiple trips to Uganda. I always knew that the world was accessible to me.
When I was 22 and working full time, I decided to take a trip to London, Madrid, and Paris to hang with some friends. I was nervous because it was my first transatlantic flight by myself, I didn’t know what I would do on a plane, alone, for seven hours. I survived it, with a book, a few drinks and a pair of headphones. Though I faced challenges navigating Paris solo, challenges that led to a lot of tears, I survived. I knew at that point I could and wanted to travel more.
In 2008, when I cut off my hair and moved to Japan, after the first six months, I proclaimed that I would not live in the US for three years. That three years turned into seven and about 45 countries. Though my childhood introduced me to travel and served as a courting period, moving abroad is what solidified my marriage to travel. Travel is the air that I breathe. It is my curiosity about the variations in cultures around the world that keep me crossing borders.”
Jessica Nabongo is a wanderlust, writer, photographer, entrepreneur, podcaster, public speaker, and travel influencer. At her core, she is a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that interconnects her passions and talents. She also wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them
Carly Nogawski of Light Travels
“I was fortunate enough to travel throughout my childhood, but it wasn’t until my 20s that I caught the bug.
The first time I truly fell head over heels was when I went on a month-long Euro trip with my boyfriend. Right before, we’d spent 2.5 years long-distance where our relationship turned into just texting 24/7 and always wishing we were together, rather than where we presently were. I remember longing for the months to fly by, and I lost touch with how great life can be when you actually live it day by day. Looking back, I don’t think I ever had the maturity to realize that until embarking on our trip!
During that month in Europe, I experienced what it was like to live entirely in the present. Instead of wishing to be somewhere else or with someone else, I was completely enveloped and enamored by my new surroundings, and every thought about the past or future no longer consumed me. It reminded me of the beauty and simplicity in the smallest, everyday things, and to experience that with the person I love was even more life-changing!
Even 4 years later, I still feel like I’m the best version of myself when traveling, since this always (for me at least) involves being present. It makes me feel gratitude towards the little things, I’m open-minded to the new and unfamiliar, and I can focus clearly on what’s most important in life, rather than the trivial thoughts that usually consume us on a day to day basis. No matter where I go now, traveling always makes me feel small and humble, and to me, that is the most meaningful way to live life!”
Carly Nogawski is an LA-based travel blogger and content creator, and the majority of the time she lives her life on the move! In 2015, she put her teaching career on hold to travel the world full-time and focus all her efforts on her career as an entrepreneur. Since then she’s visited 4 continents and over 20 countries, and doesn’t plan to stop exploring anytime soon!
Taylor Fuller of Travel Colorfully
“I studied abroad during college and I absolutely hated it. I was so excited to go to Paris and live there, on my own for five months, but I ended up having the worst possible time (and it was all my fault). I was dating someone and I was completely infatuated with him. I spent the first half of my time talking to him every waking second and not living in the moment in Paris. And then we broke up, the day before he was supposed to come visit me. So I spent the second half of my time abroad crying and laying in bed. It was not a good scenario.
While I was studying abroad I made friends with someone who worked at a travel company that took study abroad students on trips around Europe. I don’t know why, but in my head, I knew I should keep in touch with him. And three years later, he got me a job at that company (basically because he thought I handled myself well when he saw someone projectile vomit on me at Oktoberfest…true story).
Anyways, I ended up taking that job in Italy because I really wanted to prove to myself that I could, in fact, live abroad, in another country, and be happy. And it ended up being the best thing I have ever done. Most people can’t look back and pinpoint the moment in their life that changed everything. But I totally can. Living in Florence was the thing that made me fall in love with not only travel and with the world, but with myself too.”
Taylor Fuller is a travel blogger from the States. She has lived in France, Italy, and Thailand, and will soon be calling the UK home. She spends most of her time living out of a suitcase, exploring the different corners of the world. She is obsessed with colorful places, street art, and good food.
Lauren Bonheim of Lauren on Location
“The travel bug bit me young, and it got me good. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the itch to go elsewhere. To try new foods, meet new people, see new things.
It’s probably the fault of my parents, who exposed me to a life full of travel early on. Some of my earliest memories include frantically throwing together my backpack, anxiously awaiting our next departure.
Then, when I was 13, Europe and I had our first encounter. I think this was the trip that ultimately broke me. The high was overwhelming. Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm: towering stunning blondes; St. Pettersberg: the graceful elegance of the Russian ballet; Amsterdam: the charming gloom of the gray canals; Paris: a small Parisian apartment and warm gooey baguettes. We drove, we flew, we cruised. I experienced my first kiss. I knew I’d never be the same.
That trip forever changed me. It instilled in me the drive to learn, see and know more and the courage to pursue my passions. I later studied abroad during college and then moved abroad immediately following graduation. I’ve now been lucky enough to call 6 cities and 3 continents home and hope I continue to have the opportunity to wander this world and lose myself in cities, art, culture, and love.”
Lauren is a 26-year-old with a wicked case of wanderlust, on an ongoing mission to see, taste and experience as much of this wonderful world as possible! She’s a native New Yorker currently calling the Chilean capital of Santiago home, working in Digital Marketing for a US-based Startup and blogging on the side.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these stories as much as I have! If you haven’t come down with a serious case of Wanderlust after reading the travel love tales of these six amazing travelers, then I think someone needs to check your pulse!
So now it’s time to ask you: When did you first fall in love with travel?