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August 15th Travel Anniversary

August 15th Travel Anniversary(This travelogue entry was written a couple of weeks ago.)Today is the anniversary of the day that I walked off the farm and struck out on my own for the first time. It is also the first day that I have ever flown in an airplane.August 15, 1999- I packed way too [...]

August 15th Travel Anniversary

(This travelogue entry was written a couple of weeks ago.)

Today is the anniversary of the day that I walked off the farm and struck out on my own for the first time. It is also the first day that I have ever flown in an airplane.

August 15, 1999- I packed way too many bags full of way too many heavy things and departed from my paternal home in the banks of Lake Ontario by airplane for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I was wearing a cut up t-shirt, patchwork trousers, a mohawk, facial piercings, and was not even tattooed yet. I was 18 years old and going to Florida to study herpetology – reptiles. But what I found was the study of life – my own.

I can remember my feelings of all out exuberance on this day. The sky was blue with a few floaty clouds hanging out lazily, my mother was worryingly asking me if I had everything while trying to give me last resort supplies of snacks, my father and sister stood in the flanks patting me on the back and wishing me farewell.

My family clearly had no idea at that time that this was a charade that they would play out dozens upon dozens of times through the years to come. If they had, then they may not have bothered with initiating such elaborate goodbye celebrations, for I now expect them (I write this with a gentle smile).
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Budapest, Hungary- August 15, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos

This day – August 15, 1999 – set the course of my life. I loved the feeling of beng completely on my own, I love the separation of stepping onto an airplane and knowing that I would be port-holed off to another land in a matter of hours, and I loved the rather disconnected feeling of walking into a place that I did not know. Over the years I have had to keep upping the standards to get this thrill: two years in South America, three in Asia, eight months in Central America, flings all through Europe, and a good adventure in North Africa. I am still going on this route; I am still looking for this thrill of traveling to foreign parts. The excitement of travel has not diminished in the least for me over the years. In fact, the more I travel, the more I realize that I love traveling; the more places that I go to, the more I want to keep going.

I love this wandering life.

I am addicted to it.

If I had know that this would happen then I may have just stayed plump on the farm of my youth.

Travel is my love.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Bicycling to Romania
  • Opening Ceremony Beijing Olympics
  • International Study Travel

August 15th Travel Anniversary
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Filed under: USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 89 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3465 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Prague, Czech Republic

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