Once upon a time, my parents saved up for the trip that would inspire my love of travelling and kick-start my goal of travelling the world.
In 2008, my family flew across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in order to visit the beautiful country of Switzerland. I fell in love with the country, with the food, with the mountains. It was the first time we had traveled as a family to another country (other than Canada). It was two blissful weeks, spent hiking the Alps, visiting small, idyllic cities, and spending time with my family.
Many people have asked me (and my parents) about how my parents feel about my decision to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. In addition, my sister will be leaving in February to study abroad in South Africa. She won’t return until July, so for a short amount of time, my parents will have their two daughters in opposite corners of the world, very far from the United States. Many parents have expressed that they’re not sure they would be very excited for their daughters to travel to opposite corners of the world at the same time. My parents, however, have been nothing but supportive. Yes, they will miss both of us, but they are very excited for us as we embark on these journeys. In fact, they are very proud of us for taking this chance.
Both of my parents love to travel. It’s a love that started early, and it’s a love that they have shared with us our entire lives. They both grew up in the same small town that they raised us in. My mom understands the need to get away, even if only temporarily, as does my dad. My mom went to Montana for college. My dad lived in Japan for six months shortly after his college graduation, a trip he took on a whim without a ton of planning. They have encouraged all of us to travel, to get out and see the world while we’re young and able.
My mother recently sent me a picture that had the words “You may feel all grown up and ready to face the world…but this is how your parents see you…and we always will” accompanied by a photo of a little girl. My mom said this about the picture: “I’m okay with you going around the world – just wish I could follow and still be a part of all of it. Love to you!” This is the kind of support that has encouraged me to enter the Peace Corps, that has encouraged me to follow my dreams. So thank you, Mom and Dad, for your unwavering support, encouragement, and belief in my dreams! I love you both!