What Brings Me Here

Around-the-world trips remind me of my time living in Las Vegas, where, on a fairly regular basis, I would meet Australians on their way around the world. But it is strange how few nationalities openly accept their citizens making such a journey. As an American, I have traveled domestically and internationally, but have yet to take that around-the-world plunge. This is partially due to my left-brained instincts to make “safe” long-term decisions. Most of these decisions included finding a position with good job security, putting away money in a retirement plan and other typical ”settling down” type of choices. At odds with these decisions was a deep desire to find a career that would allow me to travel, to explore and to create while abroad.

And while my parents stressed the importance of traveling at an early age, for the most part when my family traveled, it was domestic. Nevertheless, the reasoning behind it was the same, traveling pushed you out of your comfort zone. It’s unavoidable that something will go wrong, you may get lost and you will have to interact with strangers. Even with all those roadblocks, my parents taught me that those times when things “go wrong” should be viewed as opportunity. When you get lost, where are you? Not in the philosophical sense, but looking around, have you accidentally found a more beautiful location? And finally, you may not know the language or the culture, but interacting with anyone is better than sitting in front of a television.

With age, sitting in front a television while your life passes becomes easier, and the idea of leaving your home becomes more difficult. I know many older individuals who spent their entire lives saving money to retire, and now their bodies cannot even support the travels they hoped to do when they were saving for them. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I am choosing now to do an around-the-world trip. Not only will I be doing it for all the reasons I have touched on, but because I have the perfect travel partner. Someone who I hope to grow old with and someone who I want to share this experience with. This may not be the only chance we get to share a trip like this together, but why chance it?

“Time is runnin’
I’m passin’
I’m passin’ and runnin’
So you better get right at this time
‘Cause there might be no next time, y’all”
–Gene Futterman

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