A Budget Traveler's Story

So this is my first blog I've ever written seriously.  I come from a long line of bad spellers, so please excuse the mistakes.  My teacher, Gayle Stevens, told me that so start in the travel photography business, the first step should be starting a blog.

Some background information:

I grew up in the SW suburbs of Chicago, the youngest of 4, until my little sister was adopted when I was 17.  My parents traveled a couple of times a year when I was little, but only in the United States and Canada.  Some monuments trips from my childhood was a trip up the east coast to look at colleges for my older sister.  We went to Quebec on this trip, my first time in a non-english-speaking environment.  We went to Boston and I remember thinking how old everything was and how impressed I was.  On my second visit to Boston, however, after visiting Europe and more-specifically Greece, I was significantly less impressed by some of the 300-year-old streets.

 When I was 13-years-old, my parents sent me to Hawaii with my Aunt Anita and her three children.  It was a great experience because it was the longest I was without my family.  However, fairly soon after arriving I got island fever.  It was a culture shock to be in an island environment and in a place so influenced by Asian, more specifically Japanese, cultures, but none-the-less, there is only so much one could do for a summer on an island.

 For my high school graduation, my parents got me tickets to Japan to visit my sister who was teaching ESL in a small town outside of Fukuoka.  My mom went with and having my sister around my mother for such a long time ended up being a disaster.  I was sad to leave such an interesting and unique place, but not my sister!

 Later that same summer I went to Seattle and Whistler, Canada with my brother and parents.  It was a great way to end the summer.  Seattle was right up my alley with the hippy-city atmosphere and open markets.

When I was 19, I completed what I THOUGHT was my lifetime goal and did that whole backpacking through Europe thing.  I flew into Frankfurt and went to Greece right away to visit my cousin living there with my parents and little sister.  From there, I took trains, ferries, and planes to Italy, Spain, France and then back to Germany.

A half-year after that, I did a bit of backpacking again, this time with friends, to London, France, Italy and Denmark.  We went for New Years Eve at the Eiffel Tower, which ended up being a huge bust to do the riots going on throughout Paris at the time.  The trip was plagued with bad weather and sickness, but on a whole, I'm proud of myself for getting the entire thing together.

For my 21st birthday I went to Boston to visit my sister, then to Manhattan for the actual day.  It is a great story to tell people that I spent my 21st birthday in Manhattan, where as in truth my sister is not a good person for my to travel with, especially for my special day, and I've never much cared for Manhattan after the first couple of hours.

When I was 22, my friend Rach and I drank enough wine to decide going to Burning Man was a good idea.  We, and my friend Chris, trekked out to the Black Rock Desert by train then rented truck and camped on the playa.  The trip gave me infinite bragging rights, and makes for great stories, but in the end is not for me.

About 9 months later, Rach and I forgot the bad in us traveling together and embarked on a trip to Costa Rica.  We stayed on the Osa Peninsula and met many amazing people and animals.  To date it was the best trip of my life.

So here I am today trying to figure out how to keep up my love for travel and make some sort of living off of it.  I'm a photographer, although not the most successful one, and travel photography just seems to be my dream job.  We shall see what my fate really does have in store for me. 

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