The Traveler Child – How I Started Traveling

“How do you travel so much?” and “Why do you travel so much?” are just a few of the frequent questions I get asked. My answer? It’s in my blood. That’s the whimsical answer of course, but there’s much more to it; reasons that have been rooted in me from childhood. I was the ‘traveler child’. The truth is as of now I only get out of the country about twice a year. It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point, as I know some people would only dream of traveling internationally twice a year.

When I first started blogging, I had a tiny little site that no one knew of. It was my experiment and my first shot at actual travel blogging. Well, you guessed it… The site failed. Or at least I had failed my own site intentionally.  I found it particularly hard to only write travel pieces as I just wasn’t getting the traveling done that I had wanted to. So I let the domain expire and never looked back. A few years later, when I was ready again and armed with more interests than just traveling, I started the blog you are reading now. But I understand the questions still remain. Why and how?


“It’s in My Blood”

Do you ever have something you feel like you must do? Like going to the gym a minimum of three times a week, getting your nails done every month, or packing your kid’s lunch every day so they eat healthy. Essentially, life things that make you feel good. That’s how I feel about traveling. It’s not a thought of ‘maybe’, but rather something I couldn’t imagine my life ending without doing.

When I was a child I was always kept busy. To this day I feel slightly embarrassed because music, movies, and tv shows just weren’t a part of my childhood. I don’t remember hit songs or old school tv shows. Instead I was out at the zoo, or being taken to a piano concert with my grandparents. Often we traveled to California on the weekends to visit my aunt.

By the time I was 15 I had traveled to most states in the U.S. by car or by plane. My parents didn’t make things easy. If we were going to go somewhere we were going to drive and have a grand old time. We regularly did camping, road trips, plane rides, day trips, you name it! If my parents went somewhere, we went with them, always.  I even remember getting lost in Boston at a young age with my mother.

So this was how I grew up, and to this day it’s amazing I can sit still for a few minutes.

London 2004


(Vintage London 2004)


When I was 16, we took our first international trip as a family. By this time I had been all over the country. I remember my family settled on using a tour service through the United Kingdom. The tour was completely planned out and we’d spend a lot of our trip on a bus driving between London, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. I remember before we left looking at the brochures we had received which had pockets full of information. I was so curious that I bought a book on London at the local Barnes and Noble and literally read it front to back. Nothing excited me more, and that was probably the moment I decided that making travel plans was the coolest thing ever. Every day I looked through the information counting down the days until we left. I packed my own umbrella. I was ready. In hindsight the flipflops were a bad idea, but hey, I was a 16-year-old girl. #liveandlearngirlie

We made it into London Heathrow and I was ecstatic. Yes, ecstatic over an airport. This also started my love of flying and being in airports. I loved the hustle and bustle of it all! Of course it rained that day, and the little girl who read all the books at Barnes and Noble was the only one who packed an umbrella. I still make fun of my parents about it to this day.

London was a major turning point for me as a person. I remember I was quite a shy kid, and while I had been traveling a lot domestically, I never really broke out of my shell. Something clicked in London and I was excited. I talked more, I said ‘you’re welcome’ to strangers, and I even took a walk by myself one morning to get a cappuccino at Cafe Nero in Kensington. Who was I? I was a girl visiting an international city for the first time, and I couldn’t soak it up any faster.

Being in the bus sucked the whole time, as I’m sure you’re wondering how that ended up. We had a fantastic tour guide though who really made it memorable. I remember his name was Tony and on our last day I asked to take a photo of him, something I had never ever done before to any stranger at home. While I would obviously not recommend bus tours, it also gave me the opportunity to see Wales and Scotland. It was my family’s first large trip with all us kids so having something planned out with a daily schedule seemed like the right way to go at the time, and it is still one of my favorite memories. London will always be my number one. I did after all derive my blog name from my experiences in London later in life. All you need is a coat and a coffee.


(In front of Westminster Abbey at 16. Fashion sense: questionable. Circa 2004, I think these photos are considered ‘vintage’ now.)

One Trip Was Never Enough

This is the part I am going to feel a little ashamed by writing, because it makes me appear ungrateful. It’s not often you meet many people who are planning their next trip while on a their current trip, and it’s not often you meet anyone who doesn’t love that feeling of ‘home’. These are a few of the qualities I possess. While it makes me appear unappreciative of my current travels, I can assure you that isn’t the case. When I came home from London, I dreamt of my next trip and the ways to make it happen. Unfortunately I was 16 and trying to deal with being 16. Teenage years for the win! I didn’t travel internationally again until much later, and when I learned how much money it actually took.

Now my goal every year is to get out of the country at least once. That may sound crazy to some people, but I’m telling you when you prioritize something and make something a goal, you will work your butt off to accomplish it. I’ve written about making traveling a goal previously. It really does work, and that is in part why I am still able to travel so much. There isn’t another option for me and I plan my next trip before my previous one is over. It’s just something I must do. It’s in my blood.

Of course one trip a year could be enough for you and that’s okay too! Everyone is different and I haven’t met too many people who share my love of traveling enough to pursue it. I say it like that because mostly everyone loves to travel, but it’s a matter of how much you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it. Most people say to me, “Man it must be nice to travel so much, I wish I could do that too.” The truth is you can. Anyone can. You just have to be bat shit crazy in love with it like I am. That’s where the line usually gets drawn for a lot of people, and I’m always on the other side.


Something More

Traveling has given me more than I could have ever asked for. It’s the experience that just keeps giving even years down the road. This is noticeable throughout my London story, citing memories from over 10 years ago. It also changed me as a person, if you remember. With every trip comes a profound adventure that isn’t like the last. It’s quite funny to think about all the things we’ve gone through and consumed throughout our lifetime that aren’t even a part of us anymore. There’s so many things! Of course there are certain defining moments in life that are worth the extra money spent. Like prom for instance. I still have my dress hanging in the closet. For me though, traveling is about so much more than the things I own. I knew from a young age that home was fun, but being outside in the world was a greater adventure.

For now it is my goal to keep sharing my adventures and love of traveling with my readers. I’ve wanted to do a background post on my story for a while now! So this was a little look in to my younger life as a traveler, and my current views on traveling and why I keep traveling (and will probably never stop). Of course I am interested in all your stories as well.

I know as bloggers we’re always taught to end with a question to keep readers engaged, it’s really no secret. Or maybe I’ve just broken some blogger code and the jig is up (oops)! But I genuinely want to know your story, and how many of you possibly have similar stories to mine.

So how did you start traveling, and what does it mean to you? Leave me a comment below and let’s discuss! Also if there are any areas you’d like me to expand on more in a separate post, do let me know! I had a lot of fun writing this one.


  1. I never travelled anywhere before I was 20 years old, but I always loved the idea of traveling and discovering the world. Now that I’m married to someone as passionate about traveling as I’m we spend our time discovering new cities as much possible. We both moved to the US 3 years back and so far we have seen a decent amount of states. We went to portland last month and next month we’re going to Hawaii. I adore traveling but I got to admit I love the feeling of coming back home, just to plan the next trip:)


    Tamara –

    1. Ah that’s so great that you married someone who’s passionate about traveling. It definitely helps to get your foot out the door. Sounds like you’ve been a lot of places and have a few great ones lined up. Hawaii is sooo gorgeous! And then of course Portland is like my fav foodie/coffee hangout city. So good. Keep traveling and planning those trips Tamara! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this blog post Emily! I totally can relate to all the things you mentioned in this blog post. I’ve traveled at a young age as well so I know what you mean when you say it’s in your blood. That is so great you try to travel out of the country at least twice a year. That is something I have been aspiring to do as well! Last year I was able to do it for the first time since I started working and it was so amazing! This year, I managed to plan two international trips towards the end of the year that I am very excited about. I think if we set our mind to it we really can manage to see the world. I hope you are able to continue to go on this wonderful adventures and I can’t wait to see where you are headed off to next!


    1. Thanks Crissy! Great job on getting to planing TWO trips! It definitely takes hard work, and it’s the best feeling when you’ve finally worked hard enough that you’re able to afford it. That’s awesome you traveled at a young age too, so you totally get what I’m saying. I just can’t sit still because of it. I want to see everything! Really glad you enjoyed my post and I am excited to see your future travel posts. I really love your blog and how your last post was so honest. Blogging is hard, but we got this!!

  3. I don’t think you sound ungrateful at all. It’s natural to want to continue to expand your horizons once you start to explore and see more of the world. I’ve only been out of the country once when I studied abroad in Australia for 6/7 months. The only reason I was able to go was because it was through my financial aid at school and I’m appreciative of every moment. I’ve been to most places up and down the east coast and also to Chicago and Seattle. I’d love to keep travelling but most of my money tends to go to art supplies, concerts and festivals. Hopefully when I get some more money I can see more of the world too!


    Violet Roots || Instagram || Twitter

    1. Thanks for sharing your traveling stories Monika! I totally know what you mean about the majority of money going to other things, especially when you have other interests. Thank god I am absolutely un-talented and have no other interests ;p (jk). I’ve used financial aid before too to travel. When I was in school I used some of the money to do an internship in San Francisco, and I lived there for two months. It was really great! It would be so amazing to do Australia for almost an entire year! I bet that was such a great experience. I do hope you get to travel more someday!

    1. Thanks Carmen! I agree, one of the best parts is being in a new culture and meeting people. Hope you have a great weekend, and thanks so much for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow, I LOVE this! I’m quite the opposite. As a family we hardly traveled. I didn’t go out of the country until I was in college and paid for it myself. My family didn’t have the means to travel nor the time so even road trips were far and few between. When I got older I longed to see the world and even being in the airport was exciting to me. And as I have my own family now, we love to travel and take at least two major vacations a year. Thank you for sharing your insights and experience on your travels. YOu write so beautifully. xoxo, Christine

    1. That’s so great Christine! Exposing your little one(s) to traveling at a young age will be awesome for them. I am very grateful I did a lot when I was younger. I can totally see the opposite happening where if you weren’t exposed to traveling, your first trip was a complete eye opener and instant love affair! No matter the age, I think some of us are just pre-disposed to the traveling gene, but we just find out at different times in our lives. That’s crazy you paid for your first international trip yourself in college. Pretty sure I spent all my money on tanning and energy drinks haha. What drive! Really enjoyed your story and glad you get to travel with your family now.

  5. I really enjoyed this post! I can really relate to it. I LOVE travelling as well and it is my goal to visit as many places as I can. I believe travel experiences are the best thing to spend your money on.
    When I was 15 I visited Europe for the first time to Northern Europe (Scandinavia & Russia). I knew nothing about those places and wasn’t even that excited when we were going. But then I fell in love with the cities there because they were so different and I was able to experience a culture so different from anything I had experienced before..and even now, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg/Moscow are some of my favourite cities. Since then I became addicted to travel. I am constantly thinking of my next trips as well! Travel really helped me grow as a person too and made me come out of my shell more as well, especially when I do solo trips.

    1. Hopefully we both get to visit as many places as we can! That would be the ultimate goal. I am actually considering planning a trip to Helsinki/ Saint Petersburg/ Russia soon. How funny! Those are some amazing countries to visit your first time around. I was glad we went to the Uk where everyone spoke English. To this day I think the language barrier is the hardest. I totally get what you mean by falling in love with the cities. I think each city speaks to you a little differently, and when you experience the culture you just fall in love in a way I can’t explain. That’s awesome traveling has helped you like it’s helped me. I totally agree with helping on solo trips! I am much more outgoing now. Thank you so much for sharing your story Tiffany! If you have any tips for Russia do let me know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Your first London trip sounds like a wonderful experience! Travelling really opens your mind. I think I’m unfortunately on the side of the people who say ‘I wish I could travel more’ haha, living in Argentina is a bit complicated as international travels can be very expensive. But I also agree that you sometimes have to think outside the box and see what you can do about that. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us dear!! And I wish you lots of new travels ahead! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I definitely remember that side, and even now I want to travel more and more. I’ve heard it is complicated to travel from Argentina with all of the border issues. That is such a bummer. I really hope you get to do more traveling in the future Deborah. Thank you for the kind wishes, and hope you have a great weekend!

  7. I mean girl, I read the whole piece out! I like how you ‘confess’ and ‘justify’ your love to traveling, and seriously, there’s no need to. I am also the ‘traveling child’ so I know exactly how you feel about traveling being something you ‘have to do’ in life. And let’s be honest, people who ‘judge’ and question you for ‘why and how’ are not actually interested in traveling, they just want to judge you for not spending your money ‘well’.

    I have learnt this over the years and now wherever I go or whatever I spend my money on I dun feel the need to explain myself to people who are not even ‘my friend’. So just do what you love and people who share the same passion will support you along the way !

    xo Margaret |

    1. Thank you Margaret! I completely agree and I’m glad you understand! I definitely feel better when I’m spending my money on traveling and seeing the world. I like that you grew up traveling as well. I think it gives us such a different perspective on life and I am forever grateful I have that. Thanks for the support and also sharing my passion. I hope to find more people like you!! Happy travels lady. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I love that you were a travel child! My husband was as well and grew up traveling the world. I think exploring the world, whether it be in your own country or on another continent is such an enriching experience and the two of us fully plan on raising our future child/children doing just that. I can definitely relate to that 2004 outfit by the way.

    1. That’s awesome! I want to raise my kids that way too. I don’t even think my parents thought anything of it. Like I don’t think they were trying to raise me that way. I think it just sort of became my ‘normal’. I always looked forward to events and trips, and just getting out of the house. Duuuude, my 2004 outfit was so bomb hahaha. I think everything was Roxy. I was a total Roxy girl back then. Oh myyy. ;p

    1. Thanks Shireen! I don’t think my parents even thought that’s what they were doing, but it definitely rubbed off on me!

  9. I loved this post! I started my blog as a travel blog and then I expanded to talk about some of my other interests!
    I just discovered your blog and I love it. I’ve been binge reading a bunch of your posts! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Michele, I am so glad you like it!! That’s awesome we sort of took the same path. There was no way I could write about traveling THAT much! One day maybe, when I can travel every month. I find that the other parts of my blog really keep me engaged, happy, and putting out more content.

  10. I really enjoyed reading this post. I definitely share the travel bug and it’s so interesting to hear your experience/outlook on it, from a different part of the world than myself. I often forget about how easy we have it in the UK with all of Europe on our doorstep and so many different countries close by. I think it’s so cool that you’ve been able to explore so much of the U.S though. I’ve been a few times but there are still so many places I want to see over there! It must have been ingrained in us from being young because I too spent a lot of my childhood exploring the UK, camping and taking family trips & holidays…I’m like you and see travel as a necessity. Sometimes I try to book impromptu trips with friends and nobody ever seems as eager as I do. I do always managed to get away though, it just takes a little bit of planning but I always think if theres a will, there’s a way!

    Wishing you many more great adventures for the future! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Samio x

    1. It definitely sounds like we had similar childhoods and now have a similar outlook on traveling. Glad to hear it! When I was in Poland recently we ran in to some Londoners and they were saying to only took them like four hours to get there haha. We were talking about how different it is for them to just travel to the rest of Europe vs us Americans. BUT they did bring up a good point that we can be in the Bahamas in like second, and it’s a long flight for them. I always want to book quick trips but I have the same problem where I am the most eager one and things usually fall through. Luckily I am not afraid to travel solo, so I do that most of the time. Thank you for your well wishes Samio! I hope you get to do a lot more traveling as well!! Really enjoyed reading your comment. It’s nice to find someone similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I loved reading this girl. My love for travel developed similarly to yours in the my parents provided me with many opportunities to travel with them, and I’m extremely grateful. They brought me to the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Paris to name a few of our overseas destinations. I caught the travel bug young and when I married my hubby I knew travelling had to be a regular occurrence. The hubby and I both work crazy hours – he working shift work so there are a lot of days we don’t get to spend much time together. Travelling is a way for us to reconnect and spend some much needed time together. I work about 70 hours a week and he works pretty similar hours so we make it a point to go away about every 4 mos. 3 flights a year and a few weekend getaways here and there. We work hard so we can play hard too =)

    1. Wow, what great locations to be able to travel to with your family! Those are an insane amount of hours to work Rina, so I’m glad you both share a love for traveling and get out when you can. I would go crazy with those hours. Though I probably work a good 60 myself ;p. I think because I love blogging it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. Getting away every four months sounds wonderful to me! Definitely glad you can relate to this post, and I wish you many more travels!!

    1. There’s nothing better than a planned trip to keep you going! When I plan a trip far in advance it definitely keeps me sane and counting down they days, especially at my office job. You will have so much fun in New Zealand! Can’t wait for you guys to visit!

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post! I think that traveling is certainly in my blood too ๐Ÿ™‚ As you said, it gives us so many amazing memories and experiences that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Loving the vintage London shot ๐Ÿ˜‰ My real love for travel started when I did a working holiday in the USA between years of Uni.

    Rachel xx

    1. I always wished that I had taken some time off from college/uni and just traveled. What a great experience you must have had! And it’s always good to make money while you’re at it haha. Very glad you enjoyed this post Rachel! And my London shots are pretty priceless. Love looking at old photos.

  13. Ah! It’s so great to see a photo of you from 2004 – looking over old travel photos can be so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Like you, I also grew up doing a lot of travelling with family. I love how you describe travel being possible for anyone so long as they’re crazy about it. If you ask me, the two most fulfilling things are family and travel ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha yay for old photos! It’s funny seeing how I used to dress. I remember being so excited for that trip too and planning out every outfit! Oh man, those were the days… Glad you got the opportunity to experience traveling as a kid too. I totally agree about the two most fulfilling things being family and travel. Gotta be a little bit crazy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. This is such a wonderful post, and I can definitely relate to a lot of what you said. I absolutely love travelling, there are so many beautiful things to see in the world, I wouldn’t want to ever just be confined to one city or country all my life! I never used to travel anywhere when I was little because my family couldn’t afford it, took my first trip to France when I was 18 and have been going abroad at least once a year ever since. ๐Ÿ™‚ <3 Once you catch the travelling bug, it's impossible to stop!! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, hun. x x


    1. Thank you Kay! I am really glad you can relate. Was hoping to find a few people who share similar thoughts about traveling. And yes, getting bit by the travel bug makes it impossible to sit still! France would be so amazing for a first trip! It was my second international destination and I LOVED IT. Thanks for your comment Kay!

    1. Weekend trips can be so fun! I thrived off them when I was a kid and even to this day. I love NYC so much! Glad you had an awesome time Courtney. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. This was honestly such a pleasure to read, I feel like I know a lot more about you and what inspires you. I never really thought of the reason behind the name of your blog, but after reading your explanation, it’s such a great way to tie in your first international travel experience with your blog, it really makes for a deeper, more intimate connection. Plus, it makes for such a cool conversation! It’s funny, I haven’t traveled much in my life. I grew up in NYC and perhaps I’ve been to 5 states in my whole life, two of which are apart of the tri-state. I’ve only ever been to 4 countries, too. Though I haven’t traveled much in my life, I’ve been greatly influenced and inspired by SO many diverse cultures, not only because of where I grew up, but my mom works at the UN and has for most of my life. I always went with her to events and I don’t believe she has many American born friends, haha. I must say, after reading this post, I feel more inspired to prioritize traveling, it can add so much to your life, more than things as you’ve mentioned. Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you’re having a great start to your week so far!



    1. Thank you Jalisa! So glad you enjoyed reading it. I remember you saying in your last post that you grew up in NYC. How cool! I’ve always wanted to live there and experience it. I love the big cities! When I lived in San Francisco it was a melting pot as well so I got to experience so many different cultures, and I loved it. I actually enjoy being a minority when I can be! It definitely gets you out of your comfort zone. That’s so awesome that your mom works for the UN. What a great way to grow up. I wouldn’t change it for anything! Hope you guys are getting settled in to CT! I saw your comment on my comment on your blog, and you should try Roger’s Orchards. It’s in New Britian. Not sure where you’re located in CT, but we always went to that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I don’t know why I love flying so much haha. Now the ocean is another story. I have such a fear of being on boats! I’d rather be on a plane.

  16. Loved this post Emily and while reading it I thought about how differently we were brought up and how similar we are now. It’s funny to think about how taking two separate roads in our upbringing leads to the same destination, hence the love of traveling. Growing up with 4 other siblings, the “furthest” trip we took as a family was the next state over. Being first generation American(my parents immigrated from El Salvador), they only had enough funds to keep our belly warm and a roof over our heads for which I am grateful. So traveling wasn’t exactly something I discovered or knew much about until my 20’s. My first time on an airplane I was 21….21!! And it was an international flight to El Salvador to meet the rest of my family with my mum. Then when my bf and I flew to Europe for the first time last year, my life forever changed. I would have dreams of our time spent here thinking to myself if we really went…or it was just my imagination. Fast forward to today, I live in Italy, in Rome. I would have never thought I would be here but I chose to because my heart needed change, an adventure, a risk bigger than I could imagine. I literally want to travel everywhere and anywhere. It’s true if you want it bad can make it happen no matter what your excuses are. Traveling changed my life.

    1. Man, that is really one extreme to another haha. I know a lot of people that grew up like you and never took a flight until they were much older. My parents didn’t necessarily have a lot of money, so I don’t even know how they did it! But they just always brought us everywhere. They were also really good savers and good at budgeting, so we always had a trip to look forward to. I think it was important to them. Obviously still different circumstances. I didn’t know your family was from El Salvador! How awesome to grow up with that culture. Immigrant families definitely didn’t have it as easy coming to America. And to think you are living in Rome now!! Pretty much proof that you can make it happen no matter what excuses you think you have. Thanks for sharing about how you got started traveling. I enjoyed reading it because it was so different from my story (like you said), but we still managed to end up the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yeah for sure! I totally agree. Writing pieces on my own terms is much less stressful. Before when I dedicated my whole blog to that it was really hard to keep content flowing. Thanks Annessa!

  17. You’ve definitely got the travel bug (or maybe gene?), girlfriend! I LOVED London- it was my first international trip (and first trip without my family/parents), and it was totally life-changing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Le Stylo Rouge

    1. Aw how fun! The first trip without parents is always the best haha. London is a great city to visit because there’s not language barrier. Thanks for the comment Ashley!

  18. I live in London as a kid. There’s something this city that I still can’t get over. I miss it everyday and I can’t wait to be back. It just that my husband is Canadian who doesnt wanna leave Canada. lol Love everything you said in this post. I can’t wait to be back!

    1. Thanks Darlene! I totally get what you feel, and you probably feel even stronger about it having grown up there. It’s a longing I cant explain!

    1. Nice Celine! It’s so great to have traveled at a young age. It makes you much more adaptable and adventurous as you get older too. Hope you are enjoying SF! I used to call that my home too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I feel this all at a personal level. Traveling has always been something that I just, like you said, had to do. There’s nothing, well that’s a lie, concerts and music give me the same feeling, there’s ALMOST nothing that excites me as much as traveling do. I get excited when I plan, I get excited when I have booked a trip, when it’s nearly there and so on. Traveling is the most incredible thing in the world and even though I’m not planning on traveling often the next couple of months or even years, I’m already so grateful I got to see as much of the world as I have in the past! Great article ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s so great Naomi! I love your outlook. I think we often forget to be grateful for the trips we’ve already taken and the places we’ve been. Usually I am just dying for my next trip, and I forget how far I’ve come! Thank you. This reminded me to be grateful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Love this post! I can totally relate to being a “traveler child”. I grew up in a military family and we moved every 2-4 years. My sisters and I had a blast along the way. The first time we left the country was when we moved to Stuttgart, Germany. I was in elementary school and it was just magical.

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