Wednesday, July 15, 2009

They call me the Wanderer

Today is a proud day for me. I picked up my new passport; a brand spanking new 65 page passport (for frequent travelers). My old passport wasn't due to expire until 2013, but since Dec 26, 2004 I've managed to fill it up. In 5 years I visited 25 countries (some more than once); an average of 5 countries per year, but I threw that out last year with 14 countries!

I suppose I got a late start on traveling - barring the family holiday to New Zealand when I was 10 - I didn't go overseas by myself until I was 22. I guess I was always at university or working in the holidays to afford university, so I never did the whole Contiki tour around Europe (I don't think that's a bad thing). My first trip was to Japan, where my schoolgirl Japanese wasn't very helpful. My next trip was a work junket to Geneva, Rome and London...other jaunts quickly followed.

I was asked yesterday why I got into humanitarian work, and the truthful answer was that there's such a big world out there to see, and that I want to not only see the world but spend good chunks of time in other places. To be paid to do it makes it all the sweeter. Don't get me wrong, there's a personal driving imperative (you could call it the humanitarian imperative if you so choose) behind all that as well!

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