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💸 This post is sponsored by Wanderlust Shops. But rest assured, all thoughts and opinions contained within are genuine and our own. 👍🏼
I’m a sucker for a good travel story.
I have a fair share of tales myself, and I always enjoy hearing about other people’s adventures. I think it’s because traveling is a communal experience. You open yourself up to new things, you meet new people and try new foods, and when you get back home, you nearly always feel like sharing that experience with your friends and family.
And once you start traveling, well, it’s an itch that’s never fully scratched. My first big adventure happened when I was only 2 months old. My parents packed up their 5 kids under 10 (I don’t know how they had that kind of energy) and took us all across the country to the Grand Canyon. I don’t remember the trip, obviously, but I always joke that it woke something in me.
In the 32 years since that epic journey, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around and I cannot overstate the impact that’s had on me and my view of my place in the world. And that discovered love and respect of traveling isn’t unique to me.
Gita Chari Mattes has also always loved to travel. She moved to the United States with her family as a child from India and over the years, she’s become a true citizen of the world. She did a study abroad program in college that took her to London and throughout her career, she’s been lucky enough to work in several different countries.
“I love everything about going into a new place and not knowing anything and sort of finding my way around,” she explained. “I realized how much I love to travel and fast forward to last year. I was sitting on a beach and I realized that I’m a wanderlust.”
While wanderlust typically describes an overwhelming desire to travel, Gita uses it more like a noun. It’s not just a thing she feels, it’s who she is in her heart. That knowledge lead Gita to make a decision on a family vacation in Mexico.
Wanderlust Shops is a family affair. The idea for the unique Easton boutique was born on that vacation in Mexico. Her brother came up with the name and her sister-in-law has done all of the creative work. Gita’s husband, Mark, had the vision for the impactful visual merchandising in-store (antique travel trunks) and has been heavily involved in the store operations and buying decisions. Even her daughter is involved, going through every kid product and telling her whether or not she’s allowed to bring an item on.
“Everybody has touched the launch and growth of this special initiative,” she said. “We are all wanderlusts, from my parents who brought us here from India to my little daughter Maia who got her passport at age 1.”
And like all people who love to travel, one of the best parts of being a wanderlust for Gita is sharing it with others. Her shop features unique gift items from all around the world, with products for literally everyone available.
You can hear the passion when Gita speaks about traveling and it compells you to tell her your stories as well. After explaining my love for travel, I could hear a giddiness in Gita’s voice. “You’re a wanderlust,” she exclaimed while we were chatting on the phone.
Now Wanderlust Shops want you to share your travel stories too. Especially where love is concerned. Inspired by not only her own love story, which involves countless travel memories, Gita had so many friends that told tales of traveling with the love of their life to faraway places, chance meetings on vacations, and more.
From February 1-14, Wanderlust and Columbus Navigator will be teaming up to share love stories on our social media and in our newsletters.
If you are a couple that met during travels, or who are from two different parts of the world, or you are just two wanderlusts who love to travel together, then we’d love to hear from you.
You can capture your story in video or prose form and submit it via email to [email protected]
- videos must be 15-60 seconds long and can be shot on your phone or other device
- prose can be in story, poetry, lyrics form; must be between 25-150 words. Please include an image that represents your story.
To get us started, please enjoy the Wanderlust Love Story of two creative souls, Eric and Myriam.