I am a traveler.
Ever since I was little, my grandparents would tell me colorful stories about their crazy, hard-to-believe travel adventures. They weren't your average bedtime stories; they included tales about cannibals (did you know there are two kinds?), strange ethnic dance moves (I mean, notably strange), and ambitious sailing trips across the Atlantic Ocean -- I remember something about a turkey flying out of the oven when a big wave hit, followed by a mad chase to capture the slippery turkey sliding around the boat. Needless to say, traveling is in my blood.
Once I started traveling on my own, no place seemed too far and no culture seemed uninteresting. My world was flipped upside down when I took a trip with my family to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. It was the first time I saw poverty; third-world, gritty, eye-opening poverty. I had seen people living with homelessness in New York, but the moment I recognized the rawness of Jamaica's people, it made me see everything differently. I grew up with everything a kid could want, yet these Jamaican people had nothing and seemed so happy. I still carry that moment with me everywhere I go and remember it's the people, not the things that matter.
Since then, I've been so lucky to have lived in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Some places more impoverished than others, some happier than others, and some so humbled by their fortune or lack there of continues to change my view on the world. Each experience has changed me. Each person, each place, each conversation, each meal, each hug...it all accumulates to a life worth living; a world worth exploring. Although somewhat tarnished, this globe is still so big & beautiful. I intend to see as much of it as possible, for my life is one intended to be lived connecting with others from every and all walks of life. I firmly believe you are the author of your own story. This one is mine.