I got this little travel map thingie from Facebook. Looking at all the places I have been to makes me both proud (as I never thought I'd travel anywhere when I was growing up) and also makes me realize how much more I would like to see and do.
My beginnings as a traveler were not promising. When I was 7, we loaded up the ol' Cutlass Supreme and took off to attend a bar mitzvah in Toronto. There's nothing like a multi-day day road trip with Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Bubbe, Sister, and me smooshed in one car. My strongest memories of the journey include stopping so that my grandpa could pee on the side of the road, after which he explained that this was one of the benefits of being a boy, and eating at a pancake house and filling out a customer satisfaction survey.
A few years after that, I vividly recall telling a friend that I would not go on our school trip to Washington, DC when I was in 7th grade because it was too scary to go so far away from home with my asthma. (When the time came, I did go and found that I liked DC a lot.) Then during my second year of college, I had the opportunity to travel to Florence and Rome for 14 days for free as part of a leadership/scholar program, and I hesitated because it was over winter break and would cut into my time to see my family. Also, I was scared to go somewhere in which I didn't know the language. (Ah, I was so cute back then.) My parents immediately and firmly urged me to take advantage of such a fantastic opportunity, so I went. After that, the travel bug firmly took hold, and the rest is a story of business travel, frequent flier miles, a honeymoon, more frequent flier miles, more business travel, and some big splurges.