Over the past few years, I’ve slowly discovered my true passion in life. You know, the thing that motivates you to keep chugging along. It’s the soul of the goal you‘re constantly striving toward. It turns out, my passion is adventuring and my goal is to adventure in as much of the world as possible.
Prior to moving to New York, three years ago, I had only left the United States once and that was on a visit to Jamaica. Since moving to New York, I’ve touched ten countries and three different continents. That’s just internationally. Domestically I’ve visited Vermont, Philadelphia, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Seattle, all for the first time in the past three years. I love every aspect of an adventure – whether it’s local, domestic, or international. In my mind, all adventures are created equal and every detail involved contributes to the experience.
I love packing. I have so much fun going through my dresses imagining myself strolling through the streets in them. From my adventures and tips from friends, I’ve learned how to pack. Turns out, you don’t need to bring a blow dryer with you and you don’t need two outfits per day. Carry your luggage through a city long enough and you’ll quickly learn what you need and what you don’t. My adventures have taught me not to over pack. Hell, on my last Europe trip I only took my backpack and there were still a few items in there that I never touched.
I love my passport and collecting new stamps on it. It was a huge bummer in Malta and Italy when they didn’t give me stamps. I considered walking up to a customs representative just to get my stamp! On the days leading up to an adventure I pull out my passport and check it compulsively. As soon as I step out of my apartment to head to the airport, I check again to make sure my passport is ready to go and easy to access.
I don’t even mind the security lines (much). I’ve gotten so good at going through security that the complexities of it are no longer annoying – laptop and liquid out, shoes and jean jacket off – I’m a pro. Airport food will never be great, but having a couple of beers before your flight is. I like to get to the airport early just to soak up the anticipation of my adventure for a little longer.
Boarding a plane has also become a cinch. I have a bottle of water, a book, a notebook, headphones, and snacks within hands reach. I always book the window because I still find such joy in looking out. Once I’m seated and belted up, I go into my zone. Sometimes I start by reading, sometimes I write, occasionally I’ll meditate, and often I’ll take a power nap – gearing up for my favorite part. My favorite part is the takeoff. I love taking off. I fly almost once a month, but my stomach still feels the excitement of a takeoff. It’s like I’m on a rollercoaster. I love the accelerated speed and then the feeling of ease once you move into flight. I imagine that’s what a bird must feel every time they fly.
Some flights I’ll sit back and catch up on movies, others I’ll read an entire book. On my recent flight home from Manchester, I spent the entire 6 hours writing. I was so inspired by my European travels that the words couldn’t escape me fast enough. There are also some flights where I’ll sleep the entire time, from takeoff to landing. I have no problem sleeping on a flight. I’m very lucky that way.
When I started flying frequently, my least favorite part was the landing. Not because it was bumpy or I was scared, but because my ears would pop so intensely that I could hardly hear for an hour after I was off the plane. But, you travel enough and you learn how to fix the problems before they become a problem. Now I keep a tissue nearby. Blowing my nose, during or immediately following a landing, gets my ears right back to normal.
On to Adventure
Once I land, I cross through security again, high on anticipation. I barely notice this security experience because I’m so excited to step out of the doors into a new world of adventure.
I’ve learned to travel both extravagantly and on a budget. I’ve had drivers waiting for me and I’ve also waited for public transportation. I’ve stayed in high-class resorts and I’ve stayed in hostels. I’ve eaten at Michelin Star restaurants and I’ve eaten at food trucks. I’ve explored the many sides of adventuring and I love it all.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Give me the good – the beautiful beaches, architecture, wine, and cuisine. Give me the bad – being lost geographically, being lost in translation, having no means of communication, and suffering from Bali Belly. I’ll take the good, the bad, the ugly, and the poo. Give me each of these experiences if it means experiencing the world.
Some people dream of owning a home, others dream of large bank accounts and fancy cars. My dream is to keep covering my world map with thumbtacks to mark all the places I’ve been. Through writing about my travel experiences I finally discovered my personal mantra: Live to adventure and adventure to live.
For me, adventuring and living are synonymous. Not everyone has the same desire to travel the world like I do. That’s okay because I’m sure they have their own passions. There are no right answers when it comes to passion. All that matters is that the way you live inspires your passion and that your passion inspires you to live. I can tell you one thing for certain, from a person who got a late start on traveling: if you’re not living passionately, you’re not truly living. We only get one shot at this life, so don’t waste it. Find your passion and start living.
Me, I’m off for another adventure.
See you soon world✌?✈?