Is this what a travel bug looks like?

I just read Vicki Pott’s (@ redheadedtravels) about me page which has inspired me to write this long overlooked and overdue post. Vicki’s first sentence is, “I can remember the exact moment I got the travel bug…”

And I realized, hey, I can too!

I was a child, so it wasn’t like a “I’m going to travel!” declaration, it was more like a piqued interest in a culture different than mine.

We had family friends visiting and one of my uncles (all adults were either aunts or uncles) brought his German girlfriend to our modest town house in Mililani Hawaii. She was so exotic to me, with her hairy armpits, mermaid blond hair, and fried potatoes.

My mom cooked Thai, Chinese and American food and by American food, I mean, steak, spaghetti and blueberry pancakes. We had baked potatoes but fried potatoes in this foreigner’s special German way, was not only really tasty but different.

I remember reading a beginner German/English book that either she or her boyfriend had brought to the Islands. I studied it and when I travelled to Thailand with my family at age 16, I got to say Guten Tag to a German family on the train to Chiang Mai.

They were thrilled.

I also said flugnummer which means ‘fight number’.  Why I remembered that, I don’t know. Maybe because it was funny sounding to me and very close to English.

Now let’s time travel to Las Vegas where I got my first kiss at the Stardust resort and casino (we met in the arcade), and where my family took frequent road trips to from Barstow, California. My first diary entry was also here. A momentous occasion because I haven’t stopped journaling ever since.

Which leads me to this: I wrote about the drive through the desert. I wrote about going somewhere new. I was on to something. At 14 years old, I was moving in the direction that said, Hey! This is worth writing about.

I like to see new places. I just don’t like the means to get there.

6 replies on “When I knew I would travel…

  1. Love this story, love the photos (okay, maybe not the one of the “travel bug”), love that you taught me some new German phrases. (Up until now, I only knew some basics: hallo, danke, auf wiedersehen–thanks Heidi Klum. Oh, and I learned that fallschirm means parachute, thanks to my Twitter friend, Helmut. Because of him, I will forever associate a falling chimp with a parachute– Now, where was I? Oh yeah, more compliments… love that you journal, love your cute “Written by Lani” pose, love spaghetti (which is not really a compliment toward you, just thought I’d mention it). Oops, I’ve reached my 5 compliments per comment limit, so I’ll pick this up next time. Laters 🙂


    1. I just had spaghetti last night! And I love Heidi! But seriously, thank you very much. You excel at making folks feel happy 🙂 And now I know how to say parachute in German…I can’t wait for this to be useful 😛


  2. Great post Lani and great moments… thanks for sharing. By the way I always thought Vicky Pott’s (@redheadedtravels ) first sentence was very inspiring too… I always think about it when I begin to write a travel post. I guess it’s very well written and manages to touch everyone’s feelings… or travellers’ feelings at least!


  3. love your post Lani – I’m always interested in hearing how someone realised they wanted to travel, not just have a holiday, there always seems to be a cool story behind it.
    I now have flugnummer embedded in my head forever (in a good way) and I will always picture you writing in your journal on your trips through the desert – I reckon I started my first journal about the same age – I now have a ridiculously big box of them 😉


    1. Thanks Vicki. It’s a good question and if you had asked me that, I’d be surprised by my answer. But this was exactly what I remembered when I read your page.

      I too, have a box of journals! It’s seems so girly to write a DEAR DIARY but I’m so grateful that I did, and still do. Cheers!


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