The Moment Travel Became My Passion

Today I am back with Bootsnall's Indie Travel Challenge. This week's topic is one that really made me stop and think for a while, but I guess that's sort of the point... 

Can you pinpoint a single moment – a day, an hour, a split second – when you knew that things had changed?  

When I read this question, I didn't think there would be any way to identify the exact moment when travel became my passion. There is a lifetime's worth of memories in my Gringott's Vault of a brain, and pinpointing which was my true moment of inspiration seemed impossible. After thinking it over for a few days, it suddenly hit me. Just as it had in that very moment...

As with many inspirational travel stories, this one takes place on my first visit to Paris. I had just crossed over that point in your twenties when you realize that it's time to start being an adult. Granted, I didn't really realize it was happening at the time, but before I knew it, life had taken on a new form. I bought a house, I got a cat, and most importantly...I met a girl.
"OK...Apparently she takes a lot of pictures."

A few months into this strange thing called a "relationship," we planned a trip to Paris and Barcelona. At this point in life I was pretty well traveled, with numerous pins in my map of the world. Yet travel was still just something I did, and not really who I was. As we descended the escalator beneath the glass pyramid of the Lourve, I had no idea that was all about to change. 

We sauntered across the Lourve's magnificent wood floors, admiring one masterpiece after another, and approached a room off the Grand Gallery. As we rounded the corner, we both did a double take,  then looked at each other as if to confirm what we had just seen. There before us, was the most famous painting in the world. 

In that incredible "wow" moment, I had changed. Up until then, the most important memories of my travels had either been alone, or with one of my buddies. I had never known what it was like to connect and truly share those moments with someone, beyond a simple exchange of "dude." For the first time in my travels, I felt a shared emotional connection to a place, and it left me wanting more.
A far more impressive painting in my opinion

For the record, the Mona Lisa is without a doubt the most overrated piece of art in the world. How she has managed to become so revered is beyond me, but perhaps that is also why I am not an art critic. Still, I will forever be indebted to her, and that moment when she changed my life.

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~


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