I swore to myself that I wouldn’t make a blog until I was sitting on the plane to Paris, a hundred percent sure that I was going. However, my perpetual impatience is a force not to be reckoned with, and I couldn’t stop myself. As I sit here on Wednesday night, with the knowledge that in 24 hours I will either be on a plane to somewhere or sitting at home crying my eyes out, I figured this was a poetic move on my part.
While the beginning of this blog will be a detailed documentation of my trip to Paris and Europe, I hope that it’s something I can carry with me for awhile. There was a moment in my life, about five years ago, when I realized my passion for traveling and experiencing all the world has to offer. I’ve been on a sort of mission since then, to travel as far and as often as possible, to meet as many new people, and to see as many foreign things as I can. There’s a certain beauty, I think, to placing yourself in a completely unfamiliar situation and realizing the truth and strength of human connection as you simultaneously find your own way. I hope, then, that this blog can be a long, honest, real resentation of the strange places I’ll find myself in over the course of the next few years.
Lara Calloway, an old friend of mine from my seven-year stint at a horse summer camp, recently spent 6 months traveling around the world on a “Semester at Sea”. My perpetual facebook stalker tendencies led me to the website she created documenting her trip. I spent hours reading the stories she wrote from each country and browsing through the pictures she took of children in India, a camel in the Sahara, pyramids in Egypt. What struck me the most, though, was this quote – found in the open letter she wrote summarizing her experience:
“I initially approached this journey with a strict daily plan to assure I saw everything, accomplished specific goals, and documented every inch and second. Needless to say, that’s not even a thing. It didn’t take long before I began to regard this whole adventure as a wonderful and tumultuous crash-course in international travel. I crash and crash and crash on the way to wherever it is that I think I’m going, and end up somewhere else, for better or worse, before finding myself in a better spot than I could have picked.
So for all things worthwhile in this old earth, for your own sanity, for the love of Buddha, and for the natural yearning for all things that are beautiful, seek the world and everything in it. Any way that you can.”
This is where the inspiration for this blog name comes from. I’d struggled for awhile with names – witty ideas, simple ones, basic ones, all the while knowing that I’d stumble upon the perfect title when I found it. I secretly understood that I would never find the right name – but rather, much like this trip to Paris, it would unexpectedly find me. Like Lara, my best adventures thus far are those that have fallen in my lap – in the airport in Atlanta, stumbling down the street in San Francisco, on top of a castle in Kilmarnock, or unsuspectingly sipping a drink at a bar in Sydney. I hope that you can join me as I crash my way through the random places where I’ll undoubtedly find myself over the next few years. I hope that this is the start of a new phase of my traveling life – where I grow, find myself, lose myself, fall, laugh, cry, and learn. I’m sure I’ll make my way through infinite numbers of cliches and far too many bottles of wine before it’s all over. For what it’s worth, though, I don’t think this journey will ever end. I hope I can look back eighty years from now and smile at the catalyst that was Paris, a beautiful change where I went from “experienced traveler” to “citizen of the world”. I’m excited to step onto a plane tomorrow and look forward to the two months that will change me, hopefully for the better. I’m going to seek the world, and everything in it…and hopefully, this will all begin tomorrow, with a letter telling me I can hop on a plane and say a joyous “hello” to the rest of the planet.