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Abroad at Last

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have always been plagued by an insatiable sense of wanderlust.

Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to travel the world — visit new and exciting places, experience different cultures and meet new and unique individuals. I think that, in large part, this stemmed from my love of reading as a child.

I recall coming across a quote when I was in the fifth grade that compared books to doorways — both leading to new and unknown places. And, I think for me that was always true. I had always imagined what the world outside of Oklahoma, outside of the Midwest, outside of the United States must be like.

My expectations of what it would be like to travel abroad were so high that as my departure date actually drew closer, I became increasingly more concerned that the real-life experience wouldn’t — couldn’t possibly — live up to what I had always imagined it would be.

However, to my surprise (and infinite delight) I was entirely wrong.

As it turns out, there is no amount of reading (or obsessive Pinteresting) that can prepare you for the feeling of seeing something so grand as Stonehenge, or Picasso’s Guernica, or the Eiffel Tower, or the Roman Coliseum in person. Similarly, there is no way to imagine the small seemingly-insignificant moments of travel that stick with you for weeks, months, years after you return home — a conversation with a glass maker in Rome, a chance encounter with an Oxford professor in Notting Hill on a bright Sunday morning, an hour spent wandering in an Arabian lamp shop in Toledo.

As such, I find myself at a loss for words — unable to describe the experience with any measure of success. So, instead of trying, I will let the following photographs speak for themselves:

 

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