Welcome to my travel journal! My name is Taylor and I'm an American Czech living out my dreams of travel. Many of you might ask yourself whats a Czech? well you see my parents were born in a country called Czechoslovakia now known as the Czech Republic located in the heart of Europe. During the 80's they escaped communist Czechoslovakia as political refugees to the U.S. in search of the "American Dream". I'll be sure to share that story with all of you later on so stay tuned. Then fast forward a few years and I was born, hello world! the first generation American in my family. All my life I have considered myself more "Czech" then "American", our household and traditions were nothing like my classmates. I mean what other person do you know has fish in their bathtub at Christmas time? well no one unless they are Czech its a tradition. At a very young age I started traveling and well you see this wanderlust desire got passed down from my parents. Living during Communism meant no freedom, no travel and certainly no questioning what kind of grass was on the other side. Their wanderlust got planted in me and I was always along for the ride, sometimes whether I liked it or not. An that's how it all started, at the age of two I was sent to live in the Czech Republic with my grandmother for 6 months while my parents were building their dream house, so the Czech Republic was always my second home and I loved it. Makes you a bit exotic when you tell people you spent your summer in a country they have never even heard of.
As years went on I traveled more and more. In high school I was given the opportunity to become a People to People Student Ambassador and travel to Australia and a year later to France and England. If anyone has the opportunity to nominate a young scholar or is nominated take the opportunity and go. You will not regret it trust me. I experienced things I may never in my life experience again, like eating crocodile soup in the middle of the outback, meeting people who changed my outlook on life and got immersed in different cultures.
My overseas travel did not stop there. Junior year of collage I decided to study abroad like most collage kids do. Here came the toughest decision, where to go? my choice was between Copenhagen, Denmark and Monte Carlo, Monaco. I've never even heard of Monaco until one day I was watching a show on VH1's called "The Fabulous life…". This was the first time I found out about the luxurious life of Monaco. Right then my choice was made, I mean who else wouldn't want to live in the richest country in the world, well at least it was at that time. Plus the international business school IUM was small so meeting people would be easy and it had well still has a great international business program, which I would recommend to anyone looking to further their education in both undergrad or graduate programs. This experience changed my life and the way I wanted to live my life. I always used the motto "go big or go home" and here is where you were living big or you didn't fit in. It was definitely a mind opening experience and I knew I wanted more in life then settling down in the small town back home in Massachusetts. I met so many great people from around the world whom still to this day I keep in contact with and build a network of global contacts. Again I can't stress enough that if you have the opportunity to go abroad, go! You will not regret it trust me, and you may never have the opportunity again. It will change your life in a way that you will never be able to describe to anyone. My hardest part was not leaving my home town of Haverhill, Massachusetts but coming back, that's when I realized I left my heart in Europe and one day I'd be back.
Port Hercule – Monte-Carlo, Monaco – September 2008
After my return from studying abroad I had the biggest culture shock of my life, so I thought. I came back to good ole "Hell-town" as the townies like to call it. It was just before Christmas, so it was cold and glumly not exactly a ball of sunshine. I was used to living in a apartment overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, seeing people dressed to nines, driving luxurious cars and going to clubs with celebrities, yes totally normal lifestyle. So you can imagine the shock I got. Well right after Christmas I embarked on another adventure and this time to incredible India. This is where I really got the biggest culture shock on my life. We arrived in the middle of the night to the most chaotic airport I have ever experienced. People everywhere, shouting, complete ciaos, the lights even went of as we were going through immigration it was craziness. I was travelling there as part of a collage program for Suffolk University Business School, we were there to immerse ourselves in prestigious and up and coming businesses throughout Mumbai and Pune, India. If you ever seen Slum Dog Millionaire, one of my favorite movies, this is really what India is like. I just came from the richest country in the world Monaco to one of the poorest counties in the world. I couldn't wrap my head around it. It was definitely the most enriching experiences of my life. I'll be sure to write more about this experience later as I would like to share with you the beauty of this incredible country.
Mumbai, India – December 2008, behind me the Taj Hotel, one month after the terrorist attack
As the years went on I completed my studies at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts with a degree in Business Management. I absolutely loved living in the city and Boston is a great city to live or visit. So if you go be sure to message me I'd be happy to give you tips on all the local spots, maybe I'll write up a post on it, since I love the city so much. Gotta love that dirtay watahh. Anyway back to where I was trying to go with this story. After completing my education I went on to work full time at my fathers company. Anyone who is in the family business knows the hard word, dedication, blood, sweat and tears that go into it. For me it was a real big turning point in my life. I didn't want to just be the "boss's daughter" and in a male predominant company you are. Everyone thinks you have it easy, well guess what you don't because at the end of the day you are probably working harder than anyone else. This is because its not just your "job" but your life, your father's "American Dream" and you take pride in this and work your ass off making it the best it can be. This lifestyle went on for many years, endless days as I found myself working multiple jobs, saving as much money as I could in order to pursue my dreams of living overseas again. My friends would be going out and I would be hustling at my banquet server job, once a few extra bucks were made I'd be out with them too. Everyone thought I was "crazy" for working almost 7 days a week, but now that they see the travel life I live, its all possible due to my hard work and dedication to be where I am today. Not to say I "take it easy" because I think I never will, I'm definitely a workaholic and want bigger and better in my life.
By now your probably asking yourself well where in the world are you? Well now I live in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic, my mother land. Since its always been like a second home the decision was clear this is where in Europe I want to be. Well why did you want to leave the U.S? a question I hear so often as most Europeans primarily Czechs ask as they think America is this perfect country, with endless opportunists and freedom and can't figure out why I would want to live in the Czech Republic, well have you seen Prague? its the most magical place and who wouldn't want to live in a city with the largest ancient castle in the world. Besides all this in 2012 an unexpected event happened that changed my life and my parents life forever. It was then when I realized that life is too short and you have to live everyday as if it was your last. You never know what bump in the road you will hit or what curve ball life will throw at you. Your priorities change and you start to think about the things that really matter in life, family, accomplishments and most importantly your health. Maybe one day I'll share the whole story but at this time I rather keep it private, those that know me well know I'm talking about. A year later after life was back on track for my family my father booked my one way ticket to Prague and said, "you have to go and enjoy your life." Since that day that's what I have been doing, living life, enjoying the moments, saying yes to opportunities, taking risks and enjoying life to the fullest. I hope to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest, to travel and learn. To take risks and opportunities, because within a blink of an eye all can change and you'll never regret the chances you took, well maybe but you'll most likely regret the chances you didn't take. At my going away party before I moved to Prague a good friend and former colleague gave a wonderful speech that made everyone tear up and it went like this, "On your headstone there are two days, the date you were born and the day you die. Between those two dates is a dash, and the most important thing you can do is live out that dash. Its all about the dash. Go and live that dash." So here I am living that dash and want to share my travels with all of you. I hope you enjoy my travels as much as I have and do. May you find inspiration and courage to live out your dreams however big or small. You only have one life to live so live it how you want to live it. Now go out there and explore this beautiful world!