For hours, you're suspended in space, until the plane comes back down to earth and you enter a world you may never have seen before, might not have known otherwise.
I've been so blessed to travel widely; as the biracial product of a gypsy-hearted father and a counterculturally independent mother, I suppose it was almost inevitable. And today I thought I'd share a little about my most recent travels, which have also been a few of my favorites.
Honduras • 2010
Honduras isn't my homeland, but it feels like it. I'm fiercely proud of this heritage, handed down to me to my mother.
We're not Mayan, but before the Spanish conquest, my Lenca ancestors would have had frequent contact with them. Regardless, one of my favorite places in Honduras, beside the beach, are the Mayan ruins of Copán.
Copán was one of the biggest cities at the peak of the Maya civilization, even though textbooks consistently ignore the Mayan presence in Honduras. It's filled with pyramids, stelae, and buildings, as well as a replica of one of the temples located in the adjacent museum, painted as it was originally and large enough to walk through.
Also the ball court made me want to play soccer in the midst of the ruins, although I could bypass the tradition of sacrificing the loser to the sun god.
Spain • 2012
My ancestors were on all sides of the earliest colonial conquests; my family, being Hispanic, are naturally descended from the Spanish.
What was exciting about visiting Spain was setting foot for the first time on ground my European ancestors would've walked.
Also, I love Europe, and am a tad obsessed with European royalty.
So to walk streets my ancestors might've walked and eating lunch in one of the plazas Christopher Columbus petitioned Queen Isabel to fund his voyage was an absolutely surreal experience, in addition to, as on previous trips to France and Poland, seeing cathedrals that had stood for centuries and the quaint, unique mixture of modern and ancient in the way only Europe can do.
Kenya • 2013
"Africa," I told my friend Amy when she told me she was going to Uganda, "will MESS. YOU. UP."
Because it did me, on my first trip there this past summer.
So often we see this continent shackled by poverty, when in reality, they are unfettered by materialism. It was absolutely confounding to see such joy and faith in the hearts of people who had virtually nothing, and an unspeakable blessing to receive the gifts they had for us. Although we went to serve Africa, I found it ended up the other way around.
One of The Mocha Club's favorite phrases is "I need Africa more than Africa needs me." I didn't understand this until I actually went.
What are some of your favorite places around the world?
Where would you like to visit if you could jump on a plane right now?
Annie Wiltse is a 22-year-old adventure-seeker who exercises her daring by infrequent use of capitalization on most social media. She's a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in English Language and Literature and a minor in History. She blogs at What She Saw and is releasing her first ebook, The Unfurling, this Friday. You can usually find her reading, tweeting, or scheming her next opportunity overseas.