This weekend it was time to celebrate my 30th birthday (hoooorayy!). I know I have not been sharing that much of the personal things on the blog so far, so now it would be a perfect time to have a look back and to help you understand how I’ve become what I am – a travel maniac with a never ending wanderlust.
Traveling has always played an important role in our family. Regular holidays have set the pace year after year ever since I was born (and even before that), and as the years have passed, the travels have only become more and more common. Some say I travel a lot – some even think too much. But it runs in the family, I actually think my parents have been abroad more during the past few years than I have. A few weeks ago I realized my sister had four flights booked, whereas I had only one trip booked. So yes, I’m not the only one in the family.
The first time I got to taste traveling was when I was only 7 months old, when we hopped across the Atlantic and headed to Florida and Georgia. Not the typical kind of a first trip for sure, but suits our style, I’d say.
After nearly 30 years later, 60 different (UN) countries have been visited on six different continents. Over 200 cities and 1400 days spent abroad. With these years, it means I have spent more than every eighth day of my life abroad. So yes, years have treated me well as I’ve been privileged to explore various different corners of the world. Sure, this sounds like a lot of traveling to many, but it is nowhere near the numbers of many other travelers. But I’ve got time.
Over the 30 years, there have been countless trips – holidays, but also living, studying and working abroad in different countries. There have been life threatening situations, breathtaking experiences and unforgettable moments. Countless moments I will forever cherish in my mind, none which I would’ve wanted to skip.
When I was only seven years old, I waved goodbye to my parents from the back window of a bus taking me to Norway for a week without any family members. At the age of sixteen, I travelled to the other side of the world, to New Zealand for a full year, without knowing anyone around me. Between those years and after them, I’ve been all over the world. I’ve travelled with friends, with family, for work, for studies, as an athlete, and as a coach. Different roles, different destinations, different adventures, each has taught me something, helped me understand the world better, helped me in understanding what I am and what I want to become. And every time I’ve returned from a trip, I’ve known I want more. More adventures, more experiences.
I can say the best memories in my life were born when travelling. I can also say that without the experiences, understanding and the open mind I’ve learned while travelling are the reasons why I have my current job. So it is safe to say I would not be who I am at the moment without the travels, nor would I be where I am in my life without that. And for that, I am forever grateful that I’ve been privileged enough to travel this much.
Sure, being able to travel this much is not something that has come given. It has required sacrifices, been the result of hard work and the right choices. But I’m happy that I’ve done them all. Besides the sacrifices and a bunch of right choices, I’ve also been unbelievably lucky to be born in the right family where I’ve been taught the beauty of traveling already as a baby. I could not be more grateful to my parents that they have raised me the way they have, raised the interest to see the world, and supported me in all the different phases of my life. I’m also forever grateful to everyone who has shared those precious moments abroad with me, you all have had a positive impact in my travels. Thank you guys, these have been wonderful years, hope there is many to come in the future too!