I hear the strums of a Spanish guitar, I smell the scent of tapas from every other restaurant door and I walk the centuries-old cobblestone streets of Madrid. Ten days into my 11-day trip to Spain and I was the only person of the 40 kids on the school trip who didn’t want to go home.
I’ve traveled for as long as I can remember — I was only four months old when I flew on my first Boeing 747. Being able to travel has always been one of my greatest joys in life, and I can’t say anything negative about experiencing the world. But the one thing I hate about traveling is the journey home.
I’ve always found myself to be a sort of vagabond. I hate staying in one place for too long and I always need to be on the go. Getting out into the world has been my conduit for when I have the urge to hustle and bustle.
Having been to New York City over 20 times, each trip being a different experience, Kansas City and its 2 million residents seem like a small town to me. And after living here for 17 years, I’m sick — sick is an understatement — of the daily itinerary that midwest city living provides.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats a three-hour nap in my white and grey sheets. But at the same time, I would give everything I could to leave my life behind and backpack through the Andes for six months.
According to Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, 80 percent of Americans had a significant relief of stress after just one or two days of traveling. Vacations are made to give people a break from their monotonous day-to-day routines.
In my case, no amount of time away from home could ever satisfy my need to get away from my stressful and all-too-familiar daily schedule — IB homework upon hours of dance upon Harbinger deadlines. Every time I sit in my Delta Economy seat and sip my apple juice as the plane takes off, all of my problems seem to remain on the ground.
While I can’t yet afford to sit in one of Delta’s Airbus A320s every day, I can do my best to keep my happiness alive with the spontaneity of traveling. Spontaneous travels are definitely on the more expensive side, which means they don’t happen very often. When I do get to go on a one-day-planned trip, I savor my happiness. There’s nothing more exciting than finishing your Spanish final and getting a notification that you have a flight to New York departing in 24 hours.
According to Psychology Today, true happiness is effortless and spontaneous. I’m not sure of anything more spontaneous than booking a four-day-three-night stay in California’s Disneyland Resort the night before you leave or purchasing round-trip flights to Amsterdam one week in advance.
I don’t know many people that have the same love for traveling as me. After a week in Europe for a family vacation followed by another week in South Carolina for a dance competition, the only thing I wanted to do was hop on another flight to another destination. Most people I know would want nothing more than to walk through their front door and be surrounded by familiarity again.
Yes, hotel, flight, food and excursion costs add up. Yes, traveling requires attention to detail and lots of research. Yes, running through airports and calling for cabs can be exhausting. But opening your hotel window and seeing the warm-toned buildings of Rome, the plunging mountains of Alaska or the ancient temples of Greece unfold in front of you melts any problems that previously racked your brain. So go see the world, it’ll help you.