As my first post on this blog about world travel, I thought you might like to know a little about me and the story that I have now interwoven with that of my wonderful husband and travel partner, Pep. Here on Piggy Bank Travels, I plan to document our adventures and provide meaningful and helpful advice for those trying to live a simple life of adventure like we do!
I have not always lived a life on the road, although it is something I have grown very fond of now. After traveling so much in so few years, I’ve discovered that I can hardly sit still where I am. I am always thinking about the next adventure, and I have dreams about packing all our things and leaving town in the middle of the night without a word. This is not because I don’t like where I live (the south of Spain is quite lovely), but because my incessant need for adventure is like a hunger that is never satisfied.
So how did I come to this place in my life? Let me share a little bit of my story, and how I came to be bitten by wanderlust.
My Early Adventures
I always loved adventure when I was young. Growing up as an only child, I learned to have a vivid imagination, which was bolstered by the amount of reading that I did. I loved stories of faraway places and adventures.
My first time on a plane was when I was four years old, and happened to be my first time out of the country as well. After throwing up all over myself and making a generally miserable time for my parents, I finally arrived in Belgium, where my aunt was living at the time. We traveled as a family around Europe, covering the high points of Belgium, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg.
By the time I was 14, I had also traveled across the United States, visiting California, Florida, South Dakota, New York City, and we’d done another trip around Western Europe. I was officially hooked on travel.
Living Abroad in the Caribbean and Belgium
At the age of 15, my family took our love of travel a step further. My parents quit their jobs, sold our house, then we packed up our belongings and moved to the Caribbean island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). For four months we did volunteer work in this mostly untouched rainforest, getting to know a culture that was completely different from our own. Honestly, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Trekking through the jungle, seeing the incredible blue-green views of the Caribbean ocean, and discovering a new way of life made me fall in love with this tiny island.
Afterwards, we moved to Belgium, and I spent my time in the rainy spring of 2011 meeting people from different backgrounds, traveling by bus to quaint towns, and falling in love with village life in the middle of the green Belgian countryside.
While living abroad in my teenage years, I learned so many lessons and came to understand what it really means to be a human being; namely, that we are all alike in so many ways, although the way that we go about our lives in different parts of the world is unique and beautiful. Although many cultures seem so different on the surface, when you dig down you begin to realize how very similar we all are.
Needless to say, I was hooked. When we finally did return ‘home’, to the city where I had grown up, I realized that this place no longer felt like home to me. I was eager to move once again, and when the opportunity to move to Spain appeared, my parents and I jumped for it!
My Life in Spain
We had had our first taste of Spain in 2011, a five-day trip that allowed us to see very little, but was very enjoyable. When we moved to the south of Spain in 2013, we chose a small town on the Mediterranean Sea called Roquetas de Mar. Here, modernism mixes with old world charm, and I was instantly welcomed by the warm and friendly people, although I could hardly understand a word they said.
Over the next few years, I had the privilege of coming to know a very special and very wonderful person who has filled my life with joy and adventure. Although Pep and I were not initially attracted to each other, our friendship grew over time and three years after meeting him, we drove to Gibraltar with only our parents and closest friends and got married.
Marrying Pep feels like just the beginning of my adventures, although looking back I know that we both accomplished a lot in the time before we got together. Since we’ve joined forces, we’ve combined our hunger for adventure and become unstoppable. We travel cheaply and live simply, and in my opinion it’s the best life I could’ve asked for.
It’s my hope that through this blog, we’ll be able to share the things we’ve learned through travel, and help others see the world on a budget! Keep putting your coins in that piggy bank; you’ll see it pay off!