Merriam-Webster defines “passion” in part as: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. I believe one’s passion is a gift from God and I believe passion starts deep within one’s heart for some thing, some place or some activity that begins as a small kindle and with nurturing (and sometimes without) grows to a raging fire. It’s the one thing that drives you or if you have suppressed it, the one thing that keeps rearing it’s head to be seen. That is how my passion for travel began, slowly.
In my early childhood years, I was bitten by the travel bug. I never recognized it for what it was, only that I loved being on the road, in new places, meeting new people, experiencing new things. I was often the child who was described as being the one with “ants in her pants” or “restless”. Some things never change, I guess. I still get very antsy when I don’t get out on the road for a while.
My mother is a retired school teacher who taught a vocational office education course. Each summer she was required to spend a week in training. Those trainings took place in cities all over Texas and since she would be gone a week we went with her. That, of course, meant that Dad would have to keep us entertained for an entire week in a new city each summer while Mom was in class. You can only spend so much time in the pool at the hotel so every morning we would start out for breakfast and then off we went to explore and have some fun. I discovered early on, that I had no favorite cities because each was unique and offered experiences worthy of being a favorite. I’ve come to realize it was the adventure that mattered the most. Travel and exploration of new places was firmly taking root in my heart.
Once, while in Corpus Christie, we had only been there two days when we were rushed out of town due to an impending hurricane. That was devastating for me not because I missed out on seeing Corpus (it wasn’t our first time there) but because I spent all year saving up money to buy one of those awesome and often trashy souvenirs. After much complaining and whining, Dad allowed for a quick stop for us to buy something to commemorate our vacation “that never happened”. Photography in the 70′s was not what it is today. As kids, our souvenirs were often the catalyst for recalling the memories we made.
One of our summer sojourns sent us to El Paso. For those of you who don’t know Texas, from El Paso it is just a short skip over to Juarez, Mexico. Ah, my first trip to the land I came to love! Dad took us across the border to shop. Yes, I was a shopper even back then. I still have the silver ring and leather purse I bought on that trip. Back at that time, there was dog racing there also. Mom tried to always take one day off to spend with us while we were there. The dog races was part of her “fun time” with us. I don’t remember much about the dog races, I was much more into horses but while sitting in the restaurant/bar area I noticed a lady who had a drink with an olive in it. Man, did I want one of those! I practically begged Dad to get one so I could have the olives. Oh, the innocence of a child! He finally relented and asked the waiter to bring me some olives. I didn’t know until much later that I was begging him to order a dirty martini! El Paso was great but now, Mexico, THAT was the place to be! The sounds, the people, everything was foreign to a child and yet so very exciting.
For many years, all I knew of Mexico was the border towns but I was fascinated by everything about it. Border towns back then were not the dangerous meccas they have now become. It was a safe place for families to cross over and experience another culture. As a child, I vowed to explore Mexico from border to border. With that, my passion truly took root in my heart. I explored in books what I could not explore in person. I’m still a road-trip kind of girl and love to get in a car and just GO! One of my dream trips is to load up a Jeep with my husband and dog and travel Mexico from coast to coast. The coastlines are beautiful but so much culture and adventure awaits throughout the interior. Just what my “restless” spirit needs!
You might say that travelling by auto does not compare to getting on a plane and saving hours and hours of travel time, but have you ever wondered what you missed by jumping on that plane instead of heading cross country? I always wonder…. what did I miss? what’s down there? where are we now?
Most who know me well, were not surprised when I went into the travel industry. One girlfriend even asked “what took you so long?”. It was not something I planned. I found myself with free time after selling our business and the opportunity came up. Sometimes the best experiences in life are those you do not plan for. That, my friends, is my passion. I wish to pass my love for travel onto you and love helping someone’s travel the best it can be. Please share your passion or comments below. I would love to hear from you.