“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign”-
Robert Louis Stevenson

            Webster’s Dictionary defines wanderlust as a “strong longing or impulse toward wandering.” If you looked more closely at the page you would see that listed under related entries was my name, Julie Tulba. I was the queen of wanderlust. I ate, drank and breathed it.

            I caught the travel bug early. I actually don’t think of it as just a bug because that intimates something far less serious, an illness that goes away just as quickly as it came. I had a disease…something that could never be cured. Once I was infected with the insatiable need to travel, I never wanted to stop, and there was no amount of “medicines” (by this I mean people and occurrences over the years that attempted to curb my appetite for traveling) that could ever rid me of this most wonderful disease.

            Although I had grown up in a household with two Francophiles for parents who were forever regaling my brother and me with numerous stories of their travels abroad, including surviving a near death driving experience in Paris along the Arc de Triomph as well as the knowledge that a trivet they had bought in Chartes, site of the famous Gothic cathedral, was more important than both our lives combined, it wasn’t until middle school that I started to discover the infinite amount of possibilities that existed outside of my very small world.

            Towards the end of sixth grade, my piano teacher, who also happened to be a close family friend, traveled to Italy and Holland for a month. After hearing all about his fascinating itinerary, I decided to investigate Italy for myself to see why someone would actually want to spend a whole month there. You know how when little girls tire of playing with Barbies they move on to the more teenage girl things? Well, instead of advancing to YM and Teen Vogue, I started pouring over travel brochures. I couldn’t get enough of them. Going to the local AAA office was like hitting the jackpot for me as I stocked up on as many printed materials as I could, ranging from the white pearl sand beaches of the Caribbean to ones that advertised the fairytale castles of Eastern and Central Europe.

            All too soon my piano teacher had returned and I was back to practicing scales and other finger exercises, although he did bring me back a book from the Anne Frank House and other beautiful postcards to add to my collection. After that summer I made a vow to myself that sooner (much sooner) rather than later, I too would become a traveler, that I would see such magical places myself and come back with my own tales and adventures to share with others.

            This blog is a collection of my stories abroad as a young adult, starting with my first one at age 16 and going up until present-day. Although I am 25 now and no longer travel solo as I have “acquired” a rather permanent traveling buddy (my husband Darryl), my traveling bug is far from being cured.

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