Traveling, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, means making a journey, typically of some length or abroad. However, I can wholeheartedly tell you that it is so much more. In 2000, a couple of months before I was born, my dad brought home a 24” by 36” large world map, which has been proudly hanging on our living room wall for sixteen years. Subsequently, when I was four months old, my family and I began traveling stateside and internationally, each time to a new and exciting destination. Consequently, every place we have visited we pinpoint on the world map. We currently have over 100 pins. We travel for many reasons such as special occasions, just for fun and to visit family. For example, we traveled to Alaska for my parent’s 20th anniversary and California was our destination for my 16th birthday celebration. Since I have extended family living around the world in places such as Poland, Ireland, Russia and South America, this map gained many pins. These trips to see family afforded me the opportunity to connect personally with loved ones and culturally with each country. The pin in Poland reminds me of the first time I tried a pierogi. Russia's pin makes me think of the Domes of the famous Head of St. Basil's Cathedral on Red square in Moscow. Likewise, the pin in Ireland brings back memories of the Cliffs of Moher, and South America’s pin makes me hear the drum beat of the kettle drums. Overall, the map reminds me of my heritage, celebrations, and family bonding.
– Julia G.