LEAH SMITH: DON'T BE AFRAID. JUST GO AND TRULY LIVE
Leah Smith is an amazing young lady from Washington, D.C. who has lived in several countries, and travels the world to learn, grow, and explore.
I am originally from Chicago, IL, but have spent most of my life living in different places. To date, I've lived in six states and 5 additional countries (France, Belgium, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Italy). I am currently working on my Master's degree in international affairs and I absolutely love traveling and experiencing new cultures and people. My goal is to visit each continent in the world and explore the many countries within them. So far, I've had the pleasure of visiting 4 continents and 17 countries and can't wait to experience more!What inspired your love for travelling?:
The first time I left North America was for a semester abroad program in Paris, France. It was an amazing opportunity and I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I arrived in Paris a few weeks before school began not knowing any French! It was exhausting leaving my tiny apartment and facing this new French home of mine without being able to speak to others. Simple tasks such as buying stamps at the post office posed extreme difficulties for me, BUT I still loved it there (and eventually learned French). I loved the pace of life, the people, the food—EVERYTHING. For me, Paris was a small taste of what life outside of America meant. When I arrived to California at the conclusion of the semester, I knew that I had to leave the US again! I left as though there was too much to see and learn in other countries. So I left. After leaving the US for the second time, I experienced more than I ever fathomed. From my experiences I learned about art, cuisine, music, new languages, faith, love and how to be more empathetic. The culmination of the knowledge I've gleaned over the years have made be a better daughter, friend, American and global citizen.
Throughout my time traveling for the past few years, I have experienced quite a bit of new and interesting cultures. To date, my most memorable cultural experience was when I went to Morocco. The people are so vibrant and full of life. The food was interesting (but good) and you cannot beat the prices for shopping! I spent a week in Morocco with a few of my classmates and we had a blast. We started off in a riad in Marrakech and later had a tour guide drive us all around small villages in and near the Sahara Desert for 4 nights. One night we slept in Berber tents in the desert (and being that we were there in the winter, it felt like we were going to freeze!)—talk about spectacular! We ate with nomads and bonded with them while having a bongo drum jam session. Finally, we made it to Fez, the city where we would depart back home from. There, we went to a traditional hammam and learned from local women about their standards of beauty and what they do to fufill said standards. My week in Morocco was truly a cultural experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world!
My answer to this question is ALWAYS hands down, Paris, France— because, why not?!
I think it's a fabulous idea as traveling with other women really allows for you to genuinely know the people you're with and how to work together as a team.
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The love is just there, people! There's such a zest for life and everyone is always having fun!Have you read any books while traveling? What are your favorites?:
As a general rule, I don't read for leisure while traveling. I figure that I can always read at home, but I'm only going to be in the city that I'm visiting for a relatively short period of time, so I'd rather explore.
Name 3 outfits your absolutely have to travel with:
I love going on Tinder and comparing which countries have the better-looking men :)
Yoga pants, t-shirt and sneakers
High-waisted jeans or shorts and a backless crop top
Save your money and GO! Don't make excuses; don't be afraid, just go and truly live! Stop spending money on clothes, shoes and at bars and restaurants for a while and make your dream happen. There is so much of the world for you to see, and it'd be a travesty that you miss out on it. Pack light, stay in hostels, make new friends, and call your family every other day and LIVE!