Travel represents my life. It’s adventure, excitement, facing your fears, taking chances, growth, curiosity, and so much more. As a child I was immensely curious about what lies on the other side. WE all have that itch, and my itch has always been to discover what the world has to offer in its entirety. In college, I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, but this was a foreign concept. Financing was the major challenge that I initially thought would hold me back from pursing my travel dreams.

After receiving a co-op opportunity from General Electric, I gained newfound courage to pursue my DREAM of travel. The new role would cancel my financial concerns, as I now had the means to fund my travel. To my surprise, my sorority sister agreed to go abroad with me.  Having someone to share in my DREAM made the venture even more exciting.

This left us with one remaining question; where are we going, which was almost answered for us. We knew we wanted to go somewhere accessible to the rest of Europe. We also knew that we wanted to learn Spanish. All that said, the answer became abundantly clear that we would be starting our journey in Spain. Barcelona was a clear choice for our desire to learn Spanish, be located in a country that was easily accessible to and from other European countries, while also providing a variety of scenery and architecture.

THE Journey Begins…Within 4 months we went to 15 different countries including Morocco, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Italy to name a few. Most ask how did we accomplish traveling to so many places in such a short amount of time.

The Secret:  Every weekend we would plan to go somewhere the upcoming week. We would decide the place, find transportation, then book lodging. Deciding the location was usually last on our agenda, as the location was typically decided by the price of transportation. Whichever destination had the cheapest ticket became our next country. Everything else naturally fell into place.

When you have a limited budget you have to be flexible in time, location, transportation, and lodging. Don’t let others convince you not to fly the budget airlines, as doing so will allow you to go further. Ryan Air & Easy Jet are two of the known budget air carriers in Europe. When booking lodging don’t be afraid to tap into sources like Airbnb to find housing or (a site that will sometimes allow payments upon arrival). Between my sorority sister and I, we could book a last minute trip for about $150-$200/per person.

For my generation, TRAVEL means community and unity. Travel increases knowledge, and knowledge will bring us closer as a human population as through experiences  and information we begin to understand that we are all connected.

Traveling as a young person specifically a young woman creates FEAR in family and friends.I have been asked on many occasions in reference to my travels aren’t you afraid? The best advice I can give is to never be afraid, because if you are you will miss out on the world’s treasures. As long as there is somewhere that I haven’t been, and something new to experience I will continue to be on a Journey to see what lies on the other side

WHAT does Get Lost Mean to you? ’Get Lost’ means discovering the world and experiencing as much as you can without limitations.

Ayanna Dawkins