Feature Friday | Paige from For The Love of Wanderlust
Feature Friday with Future Friends
I strongly believe that people who love to travel are the best kind of people. This series will introduce you to some of the amazing women travelers with whom I have been fortune enough to connect. Women travelers who are overcoming adversity and crushing societal norms are a huge source of inspiration for me and I believe their stories will inspire you as well.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? When and how did you start traveling?
Hi! I’m Paige from For the Love of Wanderlust, and I’m currently based in Springfield, Mo with my fiancé, Matt and our puppy.
My parents always went on family road trips to different State & National Parks and Historical Sites – the first one I truly remember was when I was eight, but my first was technically at the age of four. It was always an adventure though because we would find random, interesting sites along the way. Since then, I have continued to travel with them and many other people across the world.
Describe the moment you fell in love with travel in as much detail as possible. Where were you? Who were you with? What did you see, smell, hear? Transport us to that moment.
I was young when the travel bug bit. When I was nine, my parents took my brother and me to the American Southwest and our last stop was in Zion National Park. My mom and I went on a hike to the beginning of the Narrows Trail and as I was standing in the Virgin River, looking up these massive multicolored rock walls I had this intense feeling come over me where I recognized that this was something special, something unique. Since then I always looked forward to our family trips…. Especially the ones back to the Southwest.
Where is your favorite place in the world? What stands out about this place that makes it your favorite?
Wow, this question is always so tough, and, honestly, I think it changes every time someone asks me. Today, my answer would be Cambodia. I studied Anthropology and Eastern Religion in college, so getting to see the things I studied in action was unreal. Wat Phnom really stood out to me. It was the most active Buddhist Temple I visited and I was so moved by the entire experience. You could hear music paying from within the temple as you approached it, people were selling offerings outside of the entrance and you could smell the incense wafting from the open doors and windows. I slipped my shoes off and stepped into an experience I would never forget. Devotees were bowing, leaving offerings, chanting, pouring holy water filled with lotus petals over their heads and sipping it from their hands. I had never felt so simultaneously at peace and excited all at the same time.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from traveling? How has learning this lesson helped you in your life?
Another tough one! I have learned so much from traveling, but I think one of the best lessons is just that the world is beautiful because of its differences. The unique ways that people speak, worship, look, sing, dance, eat and live is something to be celebrated. The world is a classroom and best form of education, take advantage of it and learn as often as you can.
Have you ever traveled solo? If so, what was the best part of the experience? If you haven’t, why not?
I have! I took a month-long solo road trip through the Southeast part of the U.S. as a graduation gift to myself and it is, to this day, one of the greatest trips of my life. I did anything I wanted from visiting the Wizarding World or Harry Potter to swimming with manatees to hiking and visiting memorials and museums. I think the best part of the experience was getting to experience and process things exactly how I wanted to experience and process things. It’s an incredibly freeing way to travel. I LOVE traveling with my family, friends and fiancé, but there’s something incredibly special about going solo.
If you could give one piece of advice, about anything, to a large group of people, what would it be?
Take the time to travel. I’m not necessarily saying quit your job and never come home, but do take the time to do the things you want to do. It doesn’t cost as much as you think and you only have this one life to make those dreams come true!
Be sure to check in every Friday to meet other awesome women travel bloggers and future friends! If you follow a female travel blogger that you love, please send suggestions my way so that I can reach out to her! If you are interested in being featured yourself, please shoot me an email: [email protected]