Let’s Start at the Very Beginning!

Hello folks! I’m going to be starting off the story with how my travel story really started, so here goes!

As part of my MBA, I was interning between my first and second year with the company where I’m working right now. I had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people, including graduates from my college. In conversation, I was told about the training program that the company held every year for the new joinees, where they were taken to Singapore for 2 weeks. The highlight of this was that along with the training, these folks would plan a shorter trip in Southeast Asia. When I heard about that, my first reaction was ‘Whoa! Really, you can do that?’

Cut to when I was offered the job. Thrilled as I was that I had a great job in hand, I think I was even more kicked about the fact that I now had the means to go places where I had never been before, more specifically, I knew I was going to Southeast Asia the following year!

I have never been able to pinpoint the exact moment it hit me, but I think I realised what was happening when I was plagued by this niggling feeling, a constant itch; something that would grow in proportion to the number of travel related photos I saw on social media, the travel magazines in the neighbourhood library and shows on the TLCs of the world. There was a sense of loss. like there was something I should be doing but hadn’t done yet. It was a vague feeling and I could never put a finger on it, till the company training announcement rolled around.

Needless to say, we were all quite excited about the trip. 2 weeks in Singapore was plenty of time to explore the country, and along with that, we fully planned to utilise our trip and extend to other countries as well!

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Madness with my girls at Universal Studios, Singapore

And we did just that. I had never had more fun planning something, anything! I had a ball looking at the entire trip planning, right from ticketing, to stay, to tours, to researching about the best places to visit, to eat, to get massages at, to shop at; it was the best. Going on the trip was a breeze and we had a blast, because what else would it be after all that excited planning?

That was one memorable journey. The niggling feeling, the crazy itch had gone, albeit temporarily, as I was soon to realise. I met people from different parts of the world, and that really broadened my perspective. I was so, so happy and was basking in the glow of the trip that had been. This happiness, however, was quite short lived.

The itch returned, and how! It was a process of slow consumption. Like falling in love. At first, it’s your heart that’s taken over, the poor, delicate thing that it is. Then, there’s the conquest of the mind. And that’s when it becomes an all-consuming flame, taking each part of you for its own, telling you that this is what you are made for, this is what you’re going to do. Nothing is clearer.

I think it was then that I realised that this was wanderlust. I had a severe case of itchy feet which no amount of trip planning, or blogs, or TV shows could fix. I needed to be out there. I needed to go and explore. I needed to travel. It wasn’t even a want anymore. It had become a need, and I had to do something about it.

Trust me, I’m an introvert. A reserved individual who does not make the first move ever. I was the kid who, during school lunch breaks, would open up a book and read while the other kids went out to play. I’m the girl who gets nervous when faced with crowds. I’m the girl that needs someone else to start conversations with new people before participating.

And what did this girl do? She booked a solo trip to Europe.

BOOM!

Trust me, no one saw that coming. Not my parents, not my friends, not my colleagues. But IT WAS ON!!

Now THAT’s a story I’d like to do justice to, so I’m going to end this right here, but that’s only for now 🙂

What’s your story? What was your ‘itchy-feet’ moment? When did you realise that this was all you ever wanted to do? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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