Why Travel is More than Vacation

My family has a long tradition of traveling. My father migrated from Panama to the United States in the 1970’s looking for the American dream. Travel has always been apart of my life. I first traveled alone by myself at the age of two. I was just an infant ready to travel. I snuck out of the house and crawled across the street. Ever since then, travel has been apart of who I am. I have noticed many travelers highlighting vacations, excursions, tourism, and luxurious adventures. However, none of these sparked my initial interest in travel. I started traveling to reunite with family.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

What a lot of people take for granted like family reunions and holidays, I had to work real hard to get. I did not have any travel perks, discounts, nor anyone offering me tips on how to travel. I had to save money and think very creatively. Many people ask me if my family is in the military. When I respond with “no”, there are so many questions people have. I travel out of necessity to keep my family together.

Photo Courtesy of Madelin Vasquez Polanco.

I’ve taken weekend trips from the East coast to the West Coast and even took a bus from Dallas, Texas to New York City in December during a snow blizzard. I even found myself commuting from Wappinger Falls, New York to Reno Park, Queens 5 times a week once upon a time while living in the East coast.

Travel has affected all aspects of my life since I was born. It has helped me learn languages and understand other cultures and perspectives. I even married a Panamanian immigrant who also understands why travel is more than just vacation. My wife, Madelin Vasquez Polanco, is testament to our travel lifestyle. She moved to the United States from Panama in 1980’s at the age of 9. She is definitely my soulmate whom also travels miles to see her family.

My wife and I first visit Panama together. Photo Courtesy of Ruben Polanco.
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

Neither my wife nor I are from wealthy families. We both come from working class humble families whom struggled to make better lives for us. As an infant, travel was already implanted in my mind. Therefore, my first biological daughter has been all over the world and she is only 2 years old. She learned to walk at a soccer field in Jamaica. She is even the youngest person ever to receive Global Entry at the age of 1.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

Here at the #1 itinerary, we hope to inspire others to pursue their dream of traveling. Whether is just to another part of town or across the globe, we want you to know that it’s not just the money in your wallet but the passion in your heart that can make your travel dreams come true. Although, I now have the opportunity to take my family on international vacations, my aspirations for travel started because I wouldn’t let the distance keep me from seeing my family. Travel is my lifestyle and makes me who I am.

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Much love and safe travels.

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28 thoughts on “Why Travel is More than Vacation

  1. I took off my clothes at age two and ran outside our house and down the street lol! I also jumped into a pool at age 2. Since 21 I’ve just picked up and moved often in addition to many road trips and travel. I think some people are just more open to change. My family took great vacations, so that fed my travel bug.

    It’s great you and your family have traveled so much in and out is the states.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m terrified of heights; however, I hunger for such experiences and knowledge. I love that your soulmate fit perfectly with your passion to travel, and that together you both dedicate time to keep in touch with family. Distance is definitely a hurdle when it involves intimate relationships and family, but I see how incredibly loyal you are to keeping the closeness. I adore that. I hope to learn so much through your travels. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Experiencing things has proven to be much more valuable than owning things. I like this article. It puts traveling in the right context of not “getting” or “taking” but rather, “being” and “growing”. Thanks for this! Travel safe.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Travel does have a different meaning for everyone. For me it’s about leaving your routine and getting into a more exciting space. It’s liberating to me.


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