Hello! Today we have another instalment of my travel stories series. In case you are new here, this is where I invite some of my favourite bloggers to write about how their love of travel began. Today we have Melanie who writes the gorgeous blog Journey & Camera. As you might has guessed by the title of Melanie’s blog, she writes about her travel adventures as well as sharing the most beautiful photos.
Travel has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I went on my first international trip when I was less than a year old to visit family in China, the country my mother was born and raised in, and I sort of never stopped after that. I was lucky to grow up with parents that were interested in travel and at least once a year we would pack up our things in Germany to either return to China or explore a new part of Europe. I have fond memories of the trips I took as a child and a teenager and while some of them have gone fuzzy in the time that has passed since, I can’t remember ever not having been excited to see a new side of our world.
I’m not ashamed to admit that travel is a form of escape for me. I didn’t always feel like I fitted in at my secondary school and dreaming about all the grand adventures that awaited outside of my seemingly small world gave me consolation when I felt unsure about the future. Each weekend, I devoured the travel section of the newspaper, intrigued and fascinated by all the cultural and natural wonders of our planet that I wanted to see for myself so badly, and I promised myself that when I got older I would explore the world as much as I possibly could.
When I was sixteen, I moved to a small town in Western Canada to spend a year at a local high school as a foreign exchange student and to this day I honestly cannot think of any other experience that has made quite as much of an impact on my life. While leaving home for a country that I had never been to before and in which everyone spoke a language I wasn’t yet completely fluent in was scary in parts, I was more excited than anything about this new adventure and living abroad really opened my eyes to all the possibilities that existed outside of my small bubble at home.
While I had been fortunate to travel as a child and teenager, my obsession with travel didn’t truly start until I moved to Heidelberg in the south of Germany for university and started planning trips for my boyfriend and me on my own accord whenever we found a break. The first proper journey we went on together was a whirlwind trip around Scotland that laid the cornerstone of what would soon become a full-blown love affair with travel in Great Britain. We fell in love with the wild landscape of the Highlands and the Islands that touched my heart in ways not many other places had done before and inspired by these impressions I decided to start my travel blog soon after.
Keen to experience life in yet another country, I decided to study abroad in Bergen in Norway for two semesters in 2013. During my time in Norway, I developed an interest and passion in photography and fell head over heels in love with the Norwegian landscape. I quickly realized that experiencing the beauty and grandeur of nature was what I felt most drawn to when it came to travel and so I tried to get in as many outdoor experiences as possible in my ten months abroad. I went on plenty of mountains hikes and fjord cruises around Bergen and visited the Arctic Circle in the winter, but I also got the chance to travel to Iceland and to see a good chunk of the English countryside and London where my boyfriend was studying at the time and if I had enjoyed traveling before, I was now utterly and completely obsessed.
Since I have left Norway, I have traveled to China, Bali, Thailand, Andalusia, Wales, England and a few other places in between and my list of places to visit only ever grows. I am back in Germany right now to complete my degree and while I have no idea what’s next, I do know that travel will definitely and always be a part of my future. After all, one lifetime just doesn’t quite seem like enough time to experience everything there is to see in our world! But the more I have traveled, the more I have also come to notice that one of the best things about travel is coming home to a place that you always love to return to – and so if I have learned one thing over the years, it’s simply that travel really is a state of mind and that adventure is possible even in places where you expect it the least.