You’re from Newark? No way. Me too!

Have you ever been on vacation, or just really far from home, and run into someone from Newark? That has happened to me at least three times while living in Europe. I have met Newark natives that settled and lived abroad, that were vacationing — even performers from Newark on tour. We get around, and can be found almost anywhere.

I’m a Newark, New Jersey native and world traveler — this isn’t shocking, is it? I know some people find it odd that New Jerseyans and Newarkers actually travel. We have to change this. I need everyone to get their passports, pack a suitcase, and show up far away until the world gets used to seeing us.

I’ve been to countries where people have never even heard of New Jersey. In fact, some people only know of two places in the United States: California and New York. Tourists and expats are expected to be from New York City or Los Angeles. I often have to explain New Jersey in proximity to New York, and it’s been a challenge for some to really understand the difference between the two places.

I look for any excuse to travel, at any time. At my old job, I had a giant poster of a beach with palms trees in my cubicle. Looking at it was my motivation. I told myself, “If you work hard here, you’ll be able to go there.” My mission is to travel the world, and then bring those experiences home to share with friends and family. I’ve been to many countries, but I always come back home. Traveling is my thing.

Every time I meet someone from Newark outside of the U.S. I feel an instant connection with that person, and we end up chatting for a long time. I’m always happy to reminisce about things back home. We talk about what high schools we went to, our favorite Newark restaurants, and local politics. Running into “neighbors” while in England and France was surreal. (Everyone from Newark is your neighbor when you’re 3,600-plus miles away from home.)

More and more of us, even children, are traveling. People everywhere are finally starting to take notice of the advantages of exploring different places. This isn’t a trend; it’s a way of life.

My posts in the travel section will be about both domestic and international travel. I’ll share tips, budget travel suggestions, destination reviews, and a few flashbacks on my experiences as a Newarker traveling abroad. I look forward to reading your comments, and hearing about your experiences as well.

Make sure you say hello to me when I see you at the next vacation destination!

 – TravelingMad

Mad is currently traveling in Morocco.

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