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Travel That Has Shaped Us, Part 3: Growing Up a Traveler

This piece is part of an ongoing series we did a couple of years ago. In this series, we explore how travel has shaped our lives - who we are and how we see the world.

When we look over our lives, we can see milestones and events that have shaped us along the way. We can observe the ways they’ve shaped our world-views, our sense of culture, our characters, and shaped the way we look at others who are different from us. Our team is exploring the traveling we've done over the course of our lives so far and how those travels have shaped who we are up to this point. Our hope is that this multi-part series will prompt you to reflect on your own experiences and discern how your life has been impacted by your adventures and journeys.

TRAVELING AS A CHILD Travel That Has Shaped Us

I (Christie) moved a lot as a kid. My family was all over the place. My parents divorced when I was three, and they never lived in the same state. Because of that, I flew as an “unaccompanied minor” since the age of six! Growing up, I experienced the farms of Northern California, the cold winters and summer fireflies in the Northeast, and the sweaty humidity of Florida. Then there were the mosquitos and fire ants of Texas and the beautiful thunderstorms that lit up the sky. I’ve lived near the ocean, and I’ve been landlocked. (Now I live in Southern California where the weather is almost always mild and there are more “perfect” days than not.)

Christie the kid at Venice Beach, California

Moving a lot and living in these varied environments, I believe, made me resilient. It made me lonely at times, yes. But it also made me adventurous. It shaped my sense of place, and it shaped in me a peculiar rootlessness. I don’t have a “hometown” or a “where are you originally from?” I don’t claim a place as “my place.” That rootlessness has had its difficulties, but it has also made me flexible and open to new experiences. Perhaps my childhood was the beginning of my love for travel.

Christie the kid with dad and step brother


When I was in high school, I was very active in the choir. I was even my choir director’s right-hand person for a year, volunteering to be his secretary because I enjoyed hanging out with him so much. Throughout my three years at Martin High School (the same place that later produced the acapella singers, “Pentatonix”), we had spring choir trips. We went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, San Antonio (home of the Alamo & Sea World), and Corpus Cristi, Texas (a beach city on the Gulf of Mexico).

Choir trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee

These trips, away from my family and my home, shaped in me an independence that often emerges in young people during high school years. I was having adventures on my own. I was building relationships and having new experiences with my peers. My love for travel and variety was being cemented in me. I got the itch…(no, not a bad itch)...I got the itch to travel and experience new things all over the world. And that itch hasn’t yet been satisfied and probably never will be.

No matter where we go, travel shapes us in ways we could not predict or imagine. The world is so big and full of limitless opportunities for growth and the expansion of our minds and our hearts. We share these stories to inspire you to reflect on how you've been shaped by your own journeys.

And what about tomorrow's adventures? How might your future travels develop you, your family, and your circle of friends into the people you want to be? We'd love to hear from you about how you've been shaped by your travel experiences.


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