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Hmmmm where will I go today? This weekend will be my two year anniversary as a flight attendant and international jetsetter. I’ve already visited 17 countries – including the United Arab Emirates, France, Colombia, England, Mexico, Spain, The Netherlands and Venezuela. And I am just getting started!
What does that freedom look like? It’s waking up on a Saturday morning and deciding where do I want to eat lunch? Do I want pasta in Italy or do I want pastries from Cafe Concertto in London? Chinese food in Barcelona? (I know what you’re thinking…Chinese food in Barcelona? – Yes and its good!) Or pizza – at home, in the states? Empanadas sounds good, so I decide to go to Chile and book a flight. Just like that, eight hours later, I’m walking the streets of Santiago headed to the country’s signature ice cream store -Emporio La Rosa. It’s a quaint shop with spanish quotes hanging all over the walls and colorful popsicles in glass cases with flavors like choco-chili, rose petal and a local favorite manjar that has a sweet filling of dulce de leche, nectar and white chocolate. I took a cultural tour and walked the streets, people watched. But what I enjoyed the most was this:
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At a red light musicians play – guitarists strum, drummers drum and horn players toot, for the car drivers as they wait for the light to turn green.
And moments like that make me feel lucky.
I’ve talked politics at a coffee shop in Chile with a couple of Brazilians, climbed the pyramids in Mexico, visited the Vatican in Rome, spent two hours in Picasso museum in Barcelona and cried at the sight of the Louvre in Paris because of its beauty. Traveling has made me more humble and understanding of others. I don’t quite know what my life would be like without travel but I know it’s my escape route. When I step out of an airplane, and onto the ground of a foreign city, I’m free, temporarily from the daily tedious tasks of graduate school, work and family. So Bon Voyage, because my flight is boarding.
Outro: Jaki Johnson plans to visit 6 more countries this year. Thailand next on her list.