How Travel Changed Me
Airbnb’s newest campaign talks about the power of travel and how it can transform our perceptions of the world and our place in it. We asked 15 bloggers to share their own tranformative travel experiences. Cheryl Howard shares her’s below:
When I look back at myself during my 20’s, I’m amazed and happy to see how much I’ve changed for the better. This is due in most part to the transformative power of travel.
At 25 I was a married woman, owning a home with my husband and just beginning a promising career. A year later, I was heartbroken and single, renting an apartment and struggling to make ends meet.
Over the next few years, my family problems seemed to multiply. My father died, and caring for his estate was painful and draining. My grandmother died the following year.
It was my inheritance money that allowed me to take my first solo trip outside of North America. I vowed to get away, go somewhere on my own just to feel free from the burden and sadness of life back home.
I decided to make my trip extraordinary, touring the Galapagos Islands and hiking to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I remember walking alone on a beach in the Galapagos one afternoon and crying. I missed my dad so much and wished I could be experiencing this trip with him at my side. I know he would have loved it there and would have gone crazy taking photos, much like I do when I travel. I also imagined that he was watching over me, guiding me through the tough moments that I’d have on that trip.
That first trip fueled an insatiable wanderlust. I’ve since travelled back to South America, visited the Caribbean and gone all over Europe. The more I travelled, the more happy and confident I felt. It was in Italy where I first felt happiness so great, that it made me weep with joy. I fell so deeply in love with Europe that I ended up moving to Berlin for 18 months.
Through it all, I’d imagine my father smiling down on me, nodding with approval, cheering me on as I did daring things I never thought myself capable of, like paragliding or cave diving.
Do you have a travel story that tranformed your life? Share your story using hashtag #AirbnbViews. See the campaign and find your next adventure at Airbnb.com/Views
Now home in Toronto, I have less time for travel but still make it a major priority in my life. Just a few weeks ago, I made my way to Denver for the weekend and stayed at this gorgeous Airbnb apartment. Hiking through the Rockies that weekend, I felt more alive than I had in months. I was again reminded of how much I’d grown and changed because of travel, and how it made me the confident, happy-go-lucky and adventurous person I am today.
In partnership with Airbnb. “Book a home. Get a unique view of the world.” Watch the Airbnb video here.
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