I was twelve years old when I felt my first pangs of wanderlust – though I wouldn’t have known how to describe the emotion at the time. My sister Sarah had just returned home from a year in Germany, and I heard her speaking the language on the phone with her host family. I was instantly intrigued. I wanted to be able to do it, too.
Seven years later, my first trip to Europe was with Sarah. I used the money saved up from scooping ice cream throughout high school to visit Ireland with her during my freshman year spring break.
Two years after that, I lived overseas for the first time through my college’s study abroad program. I took French lessons in Grenoble and interned at a travel agency in Paris. Like so many others, I started my study abroad experience feeling very out of my element. Homesick and terrified, I spent the first few days feeling like I had made a big mistake. But before long, I was relishing the experience (and the pastries). Six months later, I was heartbroken to leave.
After returning home, I was determined to get back to France ASAP – quickly pushing aside the plan to get a “real” job (whatever that even means). I happily accepted my diploma and was on a plane a month later. I spent the next four months teaching English at a summer camp, WWOOFing at a bed and breakfast in the Alps, day tripping to Monaco, Belgium and Italy with a handful of beautiful people, and falling in love with Iceland.
Back in the States, I still hadn’t had enough. As opposed to having checked things off of my bucket list and feeling satisfied, I just felt like I had added to it. The more I saw, the more I wanted to see. A few months later, I signed a contract to teach English to primary schoolers as part of TAPIF (the Teaching Assistant Program in France).
In 2014, I traded croissants for kangaroos and embarked on a one-year Work and Holiday Visa to Australia. I lived in Sydney and then in a small, wonderful beach town 1.5 hours outside of Melbourne called Torquay. I road tripped through Tasmania, snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, camped in the Outback, WWOOFed in wine country, and developed a minor obsession with coffee.
In and around these stints of living abroad, I’ve been hungrily soaking up every new travel experience that I can, from couch surfing in Turkey and island hopping in Greece to climbing above the clouds in Switzerland and taking mud baths with elephants in Thailand.
It hasn’t always been easy – often times, it’s been anything but. Nor has it involved anywhere near the level of glamour that my friends and family at home envision it does. (Which is fair – not many of them have witnessed the sweaty mess I become when carrying around all of my belongings in a backpack the size of a small sedan.) It has always been fulfilling, exciting, beautiful and challenging in the best ways.
The one constant through the ever-changing currencies, time zones, languages and hemispheres? I love to share my adventures. Through words, and, when those fail, lots of photos. Enter: The Pamplemousse Papers! A place to share stories, spread some good old-fashioned wanderlust, and hopefully inspire you to turn that epic trip you’ve been daydreaming about into a reality.
So thank you for stopping by! I’m so glad you did. If you have any questions, comments, travel stories, or writing opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch.