I grew up poor–cardboard on the walls, no running water or central heat, and cars repossessed in the middle of the night. Many kids who grow up in poverty never realize that they can leave that situation–that there are other worlds out there, but I seemed to be born with an inexplicable and intense case of wanderlust. I spent entire afternoons daydreaming about trips to Paris where I would eat French bread with a handsome man. I longed to explore Egypt on a camel. I wanted to be a park ranger out West or an Australian tour guide. I knew I was destined to be somewhere off the coast of a South American country working with the Peace Corps. However, when I instead got pregnant two weeks before my 18th birthday and dropped out of college, I sank myself back into my own version of poverty.
Fast forward through waiting tables, raising a pretty incredible kid, getting my Master’s degree, teaching, marrying a patient and adventurous man, raising another couple of pretty incredible kids, and finally being able to pay some bills on time…and as soon as I could I was on a plane or in a car or on a mountain.
The wanderlust never died in me–and I still spend entire afternoons daydreaming about trips to Paris and exploring Egypt on a camel. When I travel, I avoid tour buses, expensive hotels, or expensive, sanitized packages. Instead, I want to meet the people, taste the air, see the landscape, and experience the culture as much as I can. I don’t want safe, formulaic travel experiences. I want the messiness of life.
In this blog, I explore humanity through traveling–what it means to me, what I’ve learned, what there is to do and see, and hopefully I can relay to you, the reader (and hopefully fellow traveler!) the beauty of the land, mountains, waterways, cities, food, and people in areas from around the world.