An Introduction to My Relationship with Travel (and Upcoming Trip)
I've wanted to travel the world for as long as I can remember. I can't put a finger on exactly how this obsession started, it's just something I've always wanted, deep down. When I was an angsty teenager, I remember telling my parents "I'm moving abroad after college! I don't know where, but I'm going!", to which they'd say "Okay, but what happens when the money runs out?" and I'd respond "Hopefully I can work as a filmmaker, but if that fails I'll work in a restaurant or be a bartender. I don't care!"
Very well thought-out plan, I know. But my goals are still more or less the same today.
First, let me give you a little history.
I wasn't one of those kids who traveled a lot in my childhood. Hell, I barely left the east coast. It wasn't until my adult life that I actually got out of Maryland and did some real traveling.
In 2010 I went on my first real adventure when I roadtripped northern America for 3 weeks, visiting the Badlands, Black Hills, Yellowstone, Chicago and a brief stint in Toronto ending with Niagara Falls. This sparked my love for national parks and beautiful landscapes.
In 2012 I decided to see the rest of America. We bought a National Park Pass and spent one month driving cross-country, racking up 9,000 miles on my car. We went to Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion and White Sands National Parks. My camera was glued to my hand and I remember that "ah ha" moment of knowing that this was something I wanted to do the rest of my life.
In 2014 I set my sights abroad. I backpacked for one month through Iceland, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bruges, Berlin, Prague, Ireland and London. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of that trip. I immediately began planning my next adventure.
From mid August to late September I'll be passing through Norway, Split, Dubrovnik, Rome & Budapest.
While planning this trip, however, I kept extending my stay a little longer; an extra week here, a few extra days there. I took a step back and asked myself - why wasn't two weeks of travel enough? Or one month? Why didn't I want to come home?
Those moments of reflection made me come to terms with what I really want: long-term travel.
It's something I've always wanted to do, and I can't help but think that now is the time to do it. So my goal for 2016 is to begin that journey, whether that means 3 months, 6 months, a year or more. Teenage Shannon would be so proud that I'm finally putting the wheels in motion (and maybe slightly annoyed that it took so long)!
More to come on that topic as it unfolds, but for now I'm focusing on my backpacking trip that's right around the corner. Needless to say, I'm counting the days until I'm hiking in the fjords, sun bathing in King's Landing, eating gelato while I gaze at the Colosseum and relaxing in a historic bath house.
Follow me on my journey as I film, photograph and write about my experiences on this blog! You can follow my day-to-day updates on instagram.