I first traveled abroad at the age of 12. That first trip to Ecuador and the many international trips I’ve been on since would not have been possible without the love and support of my parents. As they helped me plan my study abroad experience and listened to my crazy ideas about traveling even more once I arrived in Europe, I noticed one very crucial thing about their response: they never told me no. They never made me feel as though my dreams were unreasonable or unattainable. They know just how important traveling and experiencing other cultures is to me, and while they would prefer to have me home they’ve let me go wherever my dreams taken me for the past six months. I could spend a lifetime thanking them for all of the things they’ve given me: food, clothes, an education, etc. but I will never be able to thank them for the experiences they’ve given me and the person I’ve become because of them. So mom and dad, just know that from the sand dunes in Morocco to the cliffs in Ireland I’ve never forgotten how incredibly supportive you’ve always been. Thank you both so much for the experiences and memories I now have, and for the many more I still have ahead. You gave me the world and the confidence to explore every corner of if, and I can’t imagine a better gift.
(That’s my brother Will, he’s in the Navy and that was the first time I saw him in almost a year. He had been deployed for six months and then arrived back in the states three days after I came to Spain, so I was unable to be there for his homecoming. I included him in the series because my parents funded his trip over to see me when they found out he could go on leave for a few days)
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving me the world!