What I mean is that I want travel adventures. I want to go to a completely foreign land and eat new foods and hang out in local bars and witness strange traditions, customs and trends that are so foreign to me that I have to unlearn everything I've been taught just to entertain the notion of them. I want to wander the world on foot with a backpack and no map. I want an endless journey of new experiences, especially those that test my boundaries and strengths. I want to fill ten journals with tales of other-worldly adventure!
I remember being fifteen and riding on a bus with my best friend Melissa (the love of my life, if only I could fathom the idea of her nether regions in my face). We were living together that summer, both of us working our first jobs (we sold "herbal packs", pillows filled with flax seed and herbs, also know as, useless shit nobody needs). We were odd teenagers so one of our favorite pastimes was riding the bus through an assisted living retirement community and watching the various elderly riders and coming up with ridiculous story lines to fit their "characters".
On one particular day, I remember saying to her, with tears in my eyes, "I NEED to travel. If I don't travel and see amazing things one day, I'll die." Obviously this is quite dramatic, however I beg you to keep in mind here, I was only 15. Teenage angst aside, the feeling was very real. As I got older and "wiser" I realized that actual death would not be the true consequence of not traveling, but metaphorical death, inner death, was certainly possible.
A year or so before this bus ride through the retirement community I have a memory of me sitting in front of the tv in my bedroom, watching discovery channel/tlc/the travel channel, or one of those, and creating a list of all the places I absolutely had to see. The list became 3 legal size pages long and a very small number of them were in developed nations. I seemed to have quite the taste for exotic travel.
In my 14 year old mind I really thought I was going to have this list long enough to cross each destination off. Unfortunately I was not nearly responsible enough to keep track of where I put that list for more the a week. But the knowledge that those exotic lands and cultures are there for my investigation has never left me. The specific destinations gathered from the television are long lost, but it no longer matters so much. What matters is that after 10 years that feeling of desperation, that feeling of not truly being alive until I have completely stepped out of the box, out of my comfort zone and into life altering adventure, is still nagging at me.
Everyone always says, "work hard now and then travel when you have the money". Bullshit! I say! Why, for the love of life, would I waste my young and fervent years toiling away to pay the bills, to have an apartment in the cool part of town, to buy these things that I don't need, to buy into this whole system of, "work now, play later"? There is no such thing as "work now, play later" for the overwhelming majority of us. It's a disastrous lie that hold us all in fear of being 50 with nothing. I think I'll take my chances. Because chances are, I won't be able to hike Lake Malawi when I'm 50.
I realize this all sounds like the rantings of a young and naive girl with stars in her eyes, but I'm alright with that because I have made a decision. I won't put it off anymore. I won't dream of the day when I'll pack up and head out into the great unknown with clouds under my feet and stars in my eyes. I won't dream anymore. I will do.
I have made a decision. I WILL be leaving in April. My first destination is unknown at the moment, but it's looking like somewhere in South America.
The plan is to WWOOF. The basic idea is that you work on an organic farm for approximately 25 hours a week in exchange for food and a place to stay. On your off time you are free to do as you please. My free time will be spent exploring the cities nearby.
The goal is to gone as long as possible.
Hopefully, this time next year, the travel pictures above will be replaced with pictures of my own.