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  • Writer's pictureLara Draxler

My Life in Travel part 2 (age 18-20)

Part as mentioned in the last post, I did not get on an airplane until I was 18 years old. I went big and flew overseas to France! It was my senior year, last few months of school. I was privileged enough to go with my French class abroad to Paris! We were gone for ten days. It was MAGIC. I fell in love immediately with French culture and cuisine.

We did it all...the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre, the Musee D'Orsay, a cruise on the Seine, seeing all the chateaux in the Loire Valley, going to Normandy, etc. My eyes were opened to how big the world was. I had never been in such a big city, a massive airport like Charles De Gaulle, heard so many different languages, or seen such chic, cosmopolitan people. I was in LOVE. I knew then and there that I would be seeing the world.

We stayed in some beautiful spots, I was away from home for the first time, and my heart became enamored with fashion, food, and FRENCH everything. I will always love Paris. I have been back two times since, and I could go a million more. I love the French culture. I know some Americans are not fans. but it is right up my alley.

That same year, I also traveled to my first developing country. I went to Belize in Central America with my youth group from church. It was SUCH an adventure for an 18 year old! It gave me a love for wilder places. I really enjoyed working with kids doing a day camp and seeing some of the islands and tropical places. I had never seen such poverty, but I loved the sense of adventure that it gave me. I am an explorer by heart even though I never would have guessed it as such a shy child. I have since been on many trips to developing countries (some more serviced based some just as a tourist) but I cannot wait to travel to anywhere on the globe. In countries that might have poverty, I have noticed a richness in all else. The generosity and kindness of the people, the hospitality and willingness to share, the beautiful places and spaces yet to be explored.

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