This year makes the 8th year in a row I’ve been out of the United States for the 4th of July.
Honestly, today I probably had the least exciting Fourth of July of any yet. I had a two-hour Spanish class, I ate lunch alone, I did some work for a hot second, I met with my personal trainer for the first time, and I did laundry.
After getting my ass kicked, I returned home nice and sweaty to an apartment with no water.
Since I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, here are the last seven years of Fourth of Julys, mostly in photos, because who wants to read on the Fourth of July?:
2010: Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
In 2010 I hung out in Costa Rica for a week with an old boyfriend and his family. I can’t actually remember what we did on the Fourth, I think we snuck out to a hotel for a cocktail and took a bunch of amazing photos.
2011: Trim, Ireland
I had just arrived in Ireland to spend a month on an archaeological excavation in a little town named Trim. The week before my friend from Germany, Lena, came to meet me and we toured the country.
2012: Bevanga, Italy
In summer 2012 I was working my first job out of university as an English teacher in summer camps in Italy. On July Fourth I was stationed in a little town named Bevanga in the provence of Perugia (if this sounds familiar it is where the whole Amanda Knox thing happened). Honestly, this was one of my favorite locations in Italy. I really loved my team of teachers that week and I was staying with a super sweet Italian family. After teaching that day, I spent a few hours with the family’s grandmother who spoke no English, standing in a shed of broken pottery helping her bundle onions.
2013: Tbilisi, Georgia
What can I say? The Republic of Georgia is still one of my favorite countries. I came for five days and stayed for a month. It’s the perfect hidden travel gem. This was also one of my favorite Fourth of Julys. I went to the lake with a group from my hostel, had a few drinks, and spent most of the afternoon crushing on a cute Iranian guy from my hostel in a total Edward Snowden move.
2014: Beirut, Lebanon
Beirut is also still one of my favorite places I’ve been. That summer was a rough one; 8 hours of Arabic everyday is just way too much.
2015: Gili Islands, Indonesia
2016: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Having a U.S. passport is one of the things I am most thankful for. It’s an immense privilege, and definitely nothing I have earned by my own merit in any sense of the word. I think it goes without saying that traveling is something that I’m addicted to; its something that has taught me more than any of my other life experiences, yet it’s not really something I’m that proud of. I’m happy I’ve done it, but its the product of a complete luck that I was born in the U.S. and that I could afford to do it.
So, here’s to an 8th year celebrating freedom to travel day!