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Travel broadens the horizon of a person. It equips you with knowledge of customs, traditions and language of dozens of countries. Travel allows you to grow and evolve in your self, learning new qualities you never knew you had.

As I get older and more independent and free, the world of traveling calls to me. This desire has recently grown stronger since starting university and my course in Languages and Linguistics, which shows me all the places I could end up living in the future. This excites me for what lies ahead, and what thrills me even more is the idea that I could end up anywhere at any time – an idea that would scare away so many people.

“What about my family? I can’t leave them behind” are things I have heard my friends say when I ask them if they’d want to travel and/or live out of the UK. In fact, my desire to travel and explore seems to be an anomaly in the town I was brought up in. You could say that I’m divergent. Leaving my family behind doesn’t scare me because I know that they want me to go off and live somewhere new (partly because they get to come and visit me and holiday more often). They are as excited for me as I am.

Why do I want to travel?

Travel opens the door for a whole realm of possibilities. It makes you step out of your comfort zone, something which the human race typically fear. With traveling comes freedom and room to explore the world beyond textbooks and Wikipedia. Whether you travel alone or with a friend, the possibilities and lessons learnt are boundless.

For me, traveling means even more. I have grown up in a very white-British environment, meaning the world’s culture isn’t something I have picked up on. As much as learning languages has helped broaden my knowledge, I still feel like there is so much more to know about the anthropology of our planet. Of course, along with that, comes stepping out of my comfort zone. All of this excites me to the extent that I want to go over to Ryanair right now and click ‘book’ for a dozen new places.

Where do I want to go?

This list could go on as I add a new place each hour, it seems. For now, I will start by giving you my top twelve places I’d like to see, and then my top seven places I’d like to live.

The Top Twelve Places I’d Like To See

  1. Porto
  2. Santorini/Mykonos (or any of the non-touristy Greek Islands)
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Norway
  5. Italy (Amalfi Coast)
  6. Vienna
  7. Copenhagen
  8. Lisbon
  9. South France
  10. Prague
  11. The Azores
  12. München and Köln

You might see here a theme: Europe. Even though this may come across as not as venturous as you might have thought when I proposed the idea of travel, Europe still intrigues me.

Living in the UK, I feel dissociated from the Continent which we are a part of. We are a little island floating off the North West of the main body. With the current political climate around Europe (the EU and the devastating Wars), this detachment seems to be expanding. I want to explore my Continent. As a nineteen-year-old, Europe is a good place to start my life of travel.

The Top Seven Places I’d Like to Live

  1. Berlin
  2. Madrid
  3. Canada (Alberta/Toronto/Vancouver)
  4. New Zealand
  5. Hawaii
  6. Bali
  7. South France

These places are more all over the place. Since I have started listening to Canadian podcasters and their lifestyles and home towns, Canada has enticed me. Other than that, I cannot explain it. The season changes and landscapes I find stunning. New Zealand has a feeling similar to that. The picture of living in an open plan house with giant windows in the hills or mountains invites me.

Hawaii and Bali: Something about living alone or with my boyfriend on an island is alluring. Living within the luscious viridescent trees and blossoming pinks and oranges of hydrangeas. It sounds like a dream because it is a dream.

The city life of Berlin and Madrid are totally different. These are the places where I will be staying during my Year Abroad. I can just imagine myself meandering through the Tapas Cafes, Zaras and Bodegas in the Spanish streets in the summer time. Wrapping up warm with a cup of Glühwein in one hand, Pretzel in the other, at the Weihnachtsmärkte in Germany in the winter. Or sipping pints at Oktoberfest in September down south in Bayern (an annoying irony of such a festival taking place in September, I know). These are definitely locations for a solo traveller studying on their year off. I am hoping to then return there after I finish my degree to continue my traveling and working there primarily.

To sum up

The thing is with travel is that there are no ties. Nothing holds you down. You can stay a month in one place then jet off across the world for the next. There are no limits. The world definitely is your oyster when you have the ambition and passion to travel until language and culture is spilling out of you as you retell your tales and memories to family and friends when you return for the holidays.

Writing all of this inspires me to go to the airport right this second, or take off with a backpack and interail through the cities of Europe. Why not join me on this journey and begin your own path to independence through traveling? What’s stopping you?