Addiction to "MORE"
I just came across a wonderful article titled, "Traveling Teaches Students in a Way Schools Can't" By Amanda Machado. I couldn't agree more with Ms. Machado.
Once upon a time, I was your typical, know-it-all 16 year old. I had a few history classes under my belt, a vague awareness of domestic current affairs, end-of-the-world acne and an up-to-date knowledge on everything MTV.
Thankfully, my parents used their precious savings to send me away to Cambridge, England for a life-changing summer of creative writing. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity I have just started to fully understand two decades later.
Cambridge was my very first time living by myself, in an entirely new world nonetheless. A world where the legal drinking age for a solid pint of beer is 16! And damn, it was so fun.
In the end, among many many things; I learned that I am outgoing, that I have a low tolerance for beer, that I don't understand cigarettes, that hot tea is brilliant, that boys with accents are sexy, that history does not start at the precipice of the American Revolutionary War, and that 'homesick' is simply not part of my vocabulary. Most importantly, I learned that gaining a new perspective on just about everything is a game changer.
This little glimmer of the world outside a rather sheltered life in Oklahoma inspired me to search for "more:" More perspectives, more boys with accents, more adventures, more tidbits about me.
This need for "more" eventually snowballed into a rather nomadic, adventure-filled life, a life that, to be brutally honest, scares the closest of friends and family. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked why on earth I would want to spend my time working in a jail in the middle of nowhere Peru, or why I love bathing in waterfalls in Papua New Guinea while whole villages watch in awe, or why I find so much satisfaction in cleaning trash in townships outside of Cape Town, or why I would want to spend hours cradling 16 year old orphans in Vietnam, or why I feel it is safe to hitch rides on cargo ships around Chile and Argentina, or why I simply don't mind peeing outside and sleeping on floors with rats.
I never really had a good answer. Still don't. My go-to is to just shrug, chuckle, smile then ask how their kids are doing or how their bathroom remodels are going.
Don't get me wrong, remodels and children are great. I mean I now have a daughter and am now undergoing a remodeling project. I just can't seem to get that need for "more" out of my system. Some may call me a crazy addict, but I call myself someone that just wants to be a conscious part of this huge, beautifully diverse world during my short time in it.
*You can find Ms. Machado's article here:http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/12/traveling-offers-lessons-that-us-schools-fail-to-provide/383090/?utm_source=SFFB
*My daughter is the little girl on the left. She was very excited to have new friends during a trip to Oaxaca this past fall while launching our new company TALA - "Travel Around Love Abound"