[MY STORY] What A Year in Travel Has Taught Me

Taylor Michie in Morocco's Palmeraie with a camel driver.

This story is part of a series called 2011 :: The Year in Review

This year was an incredible one for me in terms of travel. I got to experience some international cultures beyond my wildest fantasies, and checked three countries off my list.

I represent the 95% of travelers. I don’t have airline status. I don’t fly first class. I don’t have  an unlimited number of miles which I accrue from six credit cards. Not that I have anything against these people; in fact, I envy many of the globetrotting geniuses who write blogs like The Points Guy and One Mile at a Time.

For me, travel is a drug. There’s nothing quite as exhilaratingly uncomfortable than boarding a long metal tube in New York, then spending ten hours cramped into a small space with hundreds of other people, suspended nearly eight miles up in the sky. Landing in a foreign country halfway across the world and starting the day in an unfamiliar place is what keeps me coming back.

Travel has taught me things about myself that I never would have guessed. That I can be unforgivingly brusque when confronted with a pack of nonmoving people on the moving walkway in Madrid’s Barajas airport. That I will never like economy class-issued headphones because they never work. That I have a new respect for the forces that control the world which so many of us take for granted.

That there is no feeling as good as feeling confident navigating my way through the world’s busiest airports as a 16-year old.

My map for 2012 is already filling up, as is the itinerary management section of several airline websites. I’ll be blogging about my journeys at the Racing Winds Blog, my Jux, and Huffington Post High School. Come along for my trips, which will be filled with Euros, Oakleys, friends, and 4Sq checkins.

My 2011 trips: 

Where I’ve Been:

  • I’ve visited 4% of the world, and want to visit 25%. Check out my map at Where I’ve Been.