I remember the moment I fell in love with the world and all the adventures it held.
I was 23, and had recently broken up with my long-term boyfriend. I had only traveled to a few states and one country outside the US, but it was my birth country so it didn’t really count. I had lived a good life, had been an exemplary child and student, but I had few stories, few adventures, and had taken few risks.
As I reflected on a life filled with existence but not living, I suddenly became ravenous for life. I looked at my more adventurous friends and acquaintances and I sorely wished to emulate them. They had gone on adventures on the sea, sky, and snow, road tripped across the US, studied abroad, visited countries whose tongues they didn’t know…
At first it was all a checklist to do x, y, and z like I had seen X, Y, and Z do. But the more I learned about what they did, the more inspired I became, and the more I wanted to try. And so my journey began. Sure, I was scared of the unknown, but the chase of adventures became greater.
I started simply. I went from zero traveling to traveling once a year with my graduate program to our annual conferences. But that wasn’t enough. In order to help me break out of my fear of leaving my comfort zone, I adopted a “yes” mentality: I began by saying yes to everything that came my way.
I joined an adventure club in school. With them I got my first taste of river tubing, hiking, white water rafting, cabin camping, meanwhile I explored these adventures with strangers. But they weren’t really strangers, because our adventures and gallivanting spirits bonded us, even if just briefly.
The more I tasted traveling, the more adventurous I became, and the more adventurous souls became attracted to me. Suddenly my friends and acquaintances started taking notice and began inviting me on more exotic trips: kayaking and boating in Puerto Rico, swam with stingrays in Grand Cayman, hiked in Panama.
I was hooked, and so it was, little by little, that what started off as a quest to keep up with others became the path to lead others. I’ve been told many times that I’ve inspired people to seek out their own adventures. Their adventures inspire me, which in turn serve to inspire others. It is an endless cycle of awesomeness.
It’s been years since I fell in love with traveling. In that time, I’ve traveled nationally and internationally by myself, with friends and family, and with strangers. I have road tripped thousands of miles up and down and across the states by myself. My horizons are forever expanding and forever molding. I especially seek the things that scare me the most— those are the adventures that give me the greatest satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. And now, I’m a bona fide and self-proclaimed gypsy and adventure fiend.
And so it is, that the journey of a thousand adventures, began with a single wish…