Why Do I Travel? (Part I – by Kristen Czudak)

Why Do I Travel? 

I have started a new blog series : “Why Do I Travel?” which features articles from my fellow blogger friends from around the world.

In the first part of my ongoing blog series, it gives me immense pleasure to present to you: Kristen Czudak, who is a fellow travel blogger & travel enthusiast who runs the her own travel blogging website  Yonderlust RamblingsKristen is a full time teacher, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and Texan, and at the same time she is  also an adventure-seeker, goal-setter, outdoor enthusiast, and run-cationer! Krisen believes that travel is possible for anyone on any budget, whether it is around the corner or around the world! She believes  in getting back to the basics of discovering the heart and soul of a place and that you don’t need lots of vacation time, or lots of money, or expensive tours, or long flights, or fancy resorts, in order to experience travel. You just need your own two feet! 

Your own two feet to travel

Wow! I must admit that I am absolutely amazed by her website, which will inspire you to want to leave your own footprint somewhere in this beautiful world. 

Let us find out why does Kristen travel in her own words:

My mother told me as a child that travel is the best education.  I am a firm believer in that mantra.  I have been surrounded by people in my life who have encouraged me to take every opportunity to travel and learn about our world and myself.  Those experiences have changed how I see the world, and how I see myself.

Travel has become a mindset for me.  That mindset has led me to many cherished experiences and memories. That mindset taught me how to grow as a person. Imagine being a thirteen year old, presented with the opportunity to travel overseas for the first time, and being told you would have to pay for your own ticket.  I worked harder than I ever had before to save the money for that ticket.

That trip taught me the value of saving and hard work.  That mindset has led me to getting back to my roots.  I will never forget as a teenager, traveling empty desert roads in the middle of Jordan, and finding the remote cave that some of my long-ago relatives once hid from the turmoil in that area.  We ate lunch near that cave with a group of Bedouins, and a gentleman offered my uncle thirteen camels in exchange for his son to marry me.  That mindset led me to face strange and unfamiliar things, and to embrace the unknown in situations.  I have been face to face with armed, masked military men barking orders at me in a language I did not know and have been lost and walked miles through places I had never been, without the aid of GPS! I have conquered the indescribable uncomfortable(ness) that is driving on the left side of the road! That mindset has led me to treasure those moments of exploring my surroundings and realizing the value of a new place.

Watch the sun rise

Places where history happened, a square mile where the main religions of the world all reside, buildings that have stood for thousands of years, standing in four states at the same time, or two hemispheres simultaneously! That mindset has led me to overcome my greatest fear, swimming with sharks! That mindset has led me to spend invaluable time and memories with family.  I have had deep conversations about life with my sister while sitting on a deserted beach in Costa Rica.  I have determined future life goals with my husband over lunch and people watching in Bryant Park.  That mindset has led me to meeting both of the children I sponsor in person, and actually being able to hug them in person.  That mindset has led me to meeting and working with other teachers from different backgrounds, who in turn have made me a better teacher. That mindset has led me to meet people from all different walks of life with all kinds of viewpoints.

There is something idyllic about eating dinner in the backyard of a simple Cuban home, with fresh fish and mojitos, discussing politics with another young German couple! Hearing a mother’s story from a radically different background, talking sports with baseball lovers at Yankee Stadium, practicing broken Spanish and enjoying the laughs that ensued in Havana, and bonding with fellow trail runners in the heart of Yellowstone National Park. This mindset has led me to set goals for myself, like tackling 5,000 plus stairs when I run the Great Wall Marathon in May.

I hope to let that mindset lead me to hike the three tallest peaks in the Appalachians, Rockies, and Sierras later this year. This mindset has led me to discover some of my favorite places right out my front door, right down my street, and right in the great (big) state of Texas! One of my favorite places in this world is Jefferson Park.  It’s a small park with a path around a small lake, filled with ducks and geese and a single gazebo. I spent countless hours at that park, training for races, walking my dogs, and watching the moon’s reflection in the water.

This mindset has led me to new people, new experiences, and new growth.  I truly love engaging in the travel experience with others, and sharing the education that comes from it.  I love learning and sharing what this world holds in store, whether it’s around the corner, or around the world! 

So, what will your step look like?

Kristen Czudak

Yonderlust Ramblings

One Reply to “Why Do I Travel? (Part I – by Kristen Czudak)”

  1. Marilyn Astle says: Reply

    I always enjoy hearing about the experiences of fellow travellers and wish Kristen ever more fascinating journeys.

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