Being Filipino, I always knew someone who was abroad. Growing up and having family come to visit with souvenirs was a treat. They would have plenty of stories about distant lands and different cultures.
In addition, I was raised around foreigners. In Makati, Philippines, I saw Westerners and Asians, since it was the city center of the country's capital. Also, since my dad was an Evangelist/pastor, he had support from missionaries, namely, South Korean ministries/missionaries.
When I came to the US, we lived in a very diverse neighborhood, and the schools I attended reflected the population. It was great growing up with all these influences, i count myself very blessed.
But really, it was my grandfather who was a sailor. He sailed all over the world with his crew at a time where most societies were still segregated. He would tell stories about African, European, and Asian port cities and their misadventures.
My dad, too travels often. Even at a young age, I knew he would go to the provinces in the Philippines. And as I was growing up in the US, he would go back to the Philippines every year for a month or so at a time.
When I was sixteen, he began traveling to Europe for extended stays, first for a few months at a time, then up to six months. His travels always brought home great news about the churches in Europe, and the great things God was doing there.
Because of the internet, I had (and obviously still have) the privilage of meeting interesting people from all over the world. That's how I got to meet my friends in Dubai and South Korea. It's fantastic!
Traveling to the Philippines in 2008, and then to 11 countries in Europe 2009, really solidified that lifestyle. It helped me grow and expand my philosophies. It also gave me a heart for overseas workers. But more on this topic another time.
Travel just runs in my blood. I loved cultures, art, food, and people. I love stories. I want to amass stories for my children and grandchildren because I know the world will be a different place then.