My passion for travel didn’t come overnight. My first big trip out of the country was a volunteer trip with my high school to Thailand my junior year. The trip was ten days long and spanned three major cities in Thailand. It was amazing and eye-opening, but I couldn’t shake off the trapped feeling I got from being a part of a large tour group. The tour bus, the pre-selected restaurants, and the set-in-stone itinerary didn’t fit what my imagined version of international travel.

Me riding an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Fast forward a year and I’ve presented an amazing scholarship opportunity to join the Fall 2013 Semester at Sea program. I took a gap year between high school and college to fit this into my plans, and I set sail with 500 other college students around the world. For four months we sailed the Atlantic, stopping in cities along the coast of Europe, Africa, and South America. It was a whirlwind, and a day doesn’t go by now that I don’t wish I’m back on the MV Explorer traveling with like-minded peers.

Semester at Sea, Fall 2013

The four months I spent traveling the Atlantic had me hooked, and there was no going back. I had been given a taste of so much of the world and, like an addict, I craved more. Since that trip I have continued my quest to see more of the world, whether I spent Spring Break backpacking Italy or simply a weekend to visit a nearby town. I’ve learned that traveling is a lifestyle, and it isn’t limited to month-long European excursions. It’s a mindset I can use every day, both near and far.

Christiansted, St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands, Spring Break 2016

Now, having just finished my Bachelors Degree in English, I am attempting to continue my exploration as I build my freelance writing career. I’m starting to realize that while I’ve traveled so much abroad, there are still many places in my home state of Florida (and the USA in general!) that I have yet to explore. I recently moved to the Orlando area, and it’s so fun to get to know a new part of this beautiful state. The Wandering Floridian allows you, reader, to follow my journey through Central Florida and beyond! Let’s get exploring!

More About Sam

Aside from traveling, I love reading, searching for new coffee shops, and walking my dog. I’m an introvert, Gryffindor, and vegetarian. I blog about college, career, and lifestyle at Samanthability.com, as well as posting regularly on Trip101.com. I plan to pursue freelance writing full-time, but for now, I’m living up to the English major stereotype as a part-time barista. Click here to contact me.