If you have never traveled before, you must.

If you have traveled, you get it.

If you are traveling, I am envious.

For years now I have been sick, because once upon a time, the travel bug bit me and I have never been able to shake it, granted I haven’t really tried that hard.

Years ago when I was 16 years old I was given the opportunity to travel out of the country for the first time.

With my high school choir, I traveled to Australia. Having never flown before let alone for 20+ hours, I went on my first adventure in a world unfamiliar to my own.

Holding Koala bears, unintentionally swimming with sharks while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and eating crocodile jerky, I fell in love with experiencing new places, people and culture.

Fast forward to 4 years later when I was 20 years old on the cusp of studying abroad my junior year in college with a small group of peers.

Along with our professor, myself and 11 other students embarked on our journey. With the program itself I became acquainted intimately with Oxford and London, England, Paris, France, Florence and Rome, Italy, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Kusadasi and Istanbul, Turkey; each place holding its own space in my heart and memory forever.

I wasn’t quite ready to give up the nomadic lifestyle, even after those 3 months, so after the study was over came the independent adventure with a few others.

We added Berlin, Germany, Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Barcelona, Spain to our list.

An empty bank account, countless pictures and 4 months later, I was back on American soil in southern California in time for the holidays.

I am now 22 years old and here I remain, with the same affliction I contracted at 16, the travel bug.

It now runs in my veins and infects my every desire and thought.

For months after I bothered family and loved ones with stories and photos of my adventures elsewhere and to this day the slightest image or comment sends me in a spiral of anecdotes on “this one time in a café in Oxford…”

While I have tamed my outward exposition on my life’s travels, the memories are there, swirling around reminding me of desires not forgotten or ignored.

I make lists of the places I would like to go someday, while planning and saving for the moment I can make my next adventure a reality. (Summer 2017 here I come)

For now, I work and study. Albeit I am working and studying in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York, I long for travel and adventure.

Being in one place for an extended period of time, with a traveler’s heart, is one of the more difficult conditions I have suffered.

I remain grateful for my present lot in life, as some would say I am “living the dream” but that does not diminish the dreams of hopping from country to country to experience new life, cultures and adventures.

I am 22; I have traveled to 15 cities in 9 countries; my body lives in New York City; my heart lives around the globe wishing for Havana nights, Champagne Mornings, Bali beaches and Tuscan suns.

Living in one place with a traveler’s heart is no easy task, but someday just might come sooner than you’d think.