The first memories I have about what traveling is bring me to my mother

My family is composed by four incredible humans. My incredible smart and loving mom, my creative and out-of-this-world generous dad and my noble brother. 

They are my ultimate fuel and life inspiration, each in their own way. 

My first glimpses of what traveling is, bring me back to me going through my mom’s photo albums of her european study trip, while wearing head scarfs and really really baggy pants (70’s style!) while listening to stories of her crossing the tunnel below the Swiss Alps to escape to Italy with friends for the weekend. I remember her speaking to me in English and French from a early age so I could learn the importance of languages when it came to communication and pushing us to learn them. I also remember all the airplane “souvenirs” she brought from her trips that we still used to this day. (cuttlery, blankets, you name, we have it all)

I don’t think my mom realizes the impact those stories still have in me today. To see a young woman in the 70’s, working full time and both going to school and dreaming of the world to me was the first encounter of what a self made and traveling woman was. Independent, fearless and following her dreams of seeing the world.  

I think that is groundbreaking for those times. This must have left a mark on me, a thirst I’m barely realizing.

My dad on the other hand is the kindest person there is, period. He says that it is a family “curse” to be so kind and that we should watch out.  He is ecuadorian but he is utterly in love and drown in nostalgia from his teaching days in a small colombian town called Fuzagazugá (can you pronounce this?). This is his favorite topic in the world and he could speak about it for days. He also has a special “talent” of imitating people’s accents from every place we’ve traveled, he doesn’t recognize it but he loves to blend in this way. 

I¡m the product of this two amazing humans. My mom was building a house, my dad is an architect and the rest is history. I’ve traveled with them but not as much as I would want to. 

I remisce now about our most adventurous times when we were 10 / 11 years old and escaped to the mountains in Ecuador, the jungle or beach hopping every year for summer break. 

Our favorite beach town is  Manta (best beach town in Ecuador) where we would go for a “bolón” or “empanada” (plantain local foods), stop for a “ceviche” or “camarones apanados”.

This two crazy human beings have gone to every “share time” sales meeting possible and gotten “the free weekend prize” without actually buying anything. Of course those weekends at times have been a scam at a shitty hotel that looks nothing like the pictures where we had to bring our own mattresses, but I deeply value these moments now. 

I travel because of them, because they are my teachers. They have taught me about life, about discovery, adventure, about being a team while eating a hot dog outside a Walmart at midnight -because everything else was closed-. 

Without knowing they have not only supported but they have taught me the value of moving and loving the growth process it brings

Today,  im deeply thankful for my first and best travel buddies.

Alejandra Endara