After dreaming about seeing the world and working my tail off for years to beef up my savings account, I tagged along with my dad’s soccer team for a three week trip around Europe in 2011. From the first sound of chaos in the streets of Rome around me with no ability to understand a word, I was smitten. At the end of three weeks of being uncomfortable and learning to understand new viewpoints, my heart hurt as I boarded that plane bound home to the US. A few years later I moved to Italy to study abroad, learn Italian and eat for six months. Leaving a piece of my heart in Italy, I returned home again completely changed with a passion for understanding cultures of the world through food.
Thus began my dedication to a life of exploring. I saved for the next two years and in the summer of 2016, I set out on a five week, solo journey across Europe. Fourteen countries later, my backpack and I found ourselves stateside once more. This trip taught me more than can be explained on paper; I discovered a happiness I wasn’t aware I possessed. I decided experiencing a life at that level of happiness was worth any amount of sacrifice.
I was very lucky to be raised by parents that challenged my four siblings and I to find our passions and utilize them to bring goodness into the world. Where most people see selling everything you own to live around the world without a large savings account or much of a plan past the first year as crazy, I see it as the most logical step.
As a pediatric cancer survivor, I have acquired a unique understanding of the fleeting moments we are allotted on this earth and the importance in appreciating each one. The combination of these two mindsets created a mentality where dedicating my life to anything that doesn’t bring me complete happiness and allow me to use my passions to serve others would be foolish and illogical.
The entire mission of this blog and community is to use something as daily and basic as food to connect cultures around the world. People are people no matter what part of the world you stand in. However, despite our ever globalizing world we are focusing more on differences and less on our common humanity. We all eat, let’s start at that commonality and use it as a stepping stone to understanding we aren’t all that different after all. It doesn’t have to take tons of money to make friends. I am living proof that you can see the world on a little bit of faith, very little money and a heart open to love. Sit down at the table, take a bite, and see that the world isn’t far out of reach.
-The Very Hungry Traveler