This is possibly the most lovely thread I've ever read on here. :)
I too, grew up in a family that took many road trips throughout the US. Luckily I had aunts and uncles in various states to visit, as well as both sets of grandparents who liked to travel. I also read a ton growing up, which I think sparks the imagination.
In high school, I left the country for the first time - Canada! Despite the fact that Canada didn't feel exotic (Toronto and Niagara Falls), there were enough differences that it made the world a little bigger. In college, I desperately wanted to study abroad in Ireland but my mother was adamantly against it, and I didn't have the savings to do it.
Finally, three years ago, two of my best friends and I finally just decided it was time. K had studied in Ireland in college and J was as desperate to visit "the motherland" as I was. So we did it! We booked tickets, and I spent months researching, planning, writing itineraries and rewriting itineraries. I scoured message boards and rewatched old RS episodes. I booked ALL the lodging, car rental, etc. Luckily they were willing to let me. :) Growing up I always thought it would be cool to be a travel agent. For me, planning, dreaming, researching - it's almost as much fun as the trip itself!
Ireland was AMAZING. And it made the world even larger! I spent probably two years after that trip just pining to go back, but also wanting to see more of the world! The same friends and I had tentatively been planning to go to Amsterdam, Belgium, and Germany, but one got married, the other is getting married, and life just got in the way, so that trip never really got started. The past year I've been thinking it's time to get going abroad again, and a few weeks ago, a ticket to Vienna popped up for $344 and I jumped on it! I'm taking my first solo trip! I'm 32, not married, but with twins in grade school. I'm pretty much expecting to never marry, so I want to have a life to live once they grow up and move away. I always envisioned myself taking grand adventures, either with friends or on my own, so it's time! Time to do it the first time so that I'm ready the second time!