By Candace Rardon
On a cool spring evening, weeks before I was to receive my college diploma, I ran into two old friends at a pre-graduation party.
While I was excited to catch up with them, our conversation quickly headed in an unexpected direction when one of them abruptly said: “Move to London with us.”
The invitation was as serendipitous as it was sudden.
When we hopped the pond together later that summer, I had no idea that my time abroad was only beginning—that I would spend the next seven years making my way through 50 countries across six continents.
Now that I’m back in the United States, settled in cosmopolitan San Francisco, it’s finally hitting me how much long-term travel has shaped who I am.
There are the small changes—the fact that I use my own two feet and public transportation to get around instead of a car, and that shopping in markets around the world has made relying on local produce a reflex—but there have been larger life lessons, too.
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