so I continue to ask myself how I came to be the person I am today. part of my journey from there to here has taken me to other continents, other countries, seemingly other worlds. I know this has helped shape my feelings, my opinions, my entire world. traveling opens the window to new perspectives and emotions. meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, tasting new foods … it’s all part of the process. it’s all part of shaping us into who we are. who we will become. I do believe with all my heart that getting out into the world, escaping the place we feel comfortable, the place we call home, forces us to grow and to see the world from a different perspective. when I was growing up in rural Pennsylvania, that was all I knew. that was my entire world. I only knew farmland and one-stoplight towns and my close circle of friends. I didn’t get out to see much, hardly ever even venturing into the city. I remember how scared I was to get on a plane the first time. I was in college, and I was headed to Miami for a journalism convention. I was nervous, but excited. that would be my first real trip to somewhere “far away,” and it was a breath of fresh (salt) air. I never looked back. I’ve been to about 15 countries at this point, learning something new about the world and myself in every single one. I’ve been scared in Mexico and alone in Paris. I lost my passport in Switzerland and ate zebu meat in Madagascar. I braved the subway and train system in Tokyo and sailed in Belgium. and I’m not the same person because of every one of these adventures. don’t get me wrong … I still get excited to visit my Pennsylvania home, but each time I do, I bring a different perspective with me. I’ve learned that as much as I love it, I don’t want to move back there. and I think that’s just fine. I’m not ready to sit still just yet. many of the people where I’m from stay put … many of my high school classmates still live there. some still live on the same property where they grew up. that’s not me. I need to move around and see the moon over different places. I now crave the opportunity to introduce my kids to the world. I don’t want them to be “stuck” in Indianapolis. I want them to get out and explore. I want them to open their minds to new things. sometimes leaving home is the only way to do this. when you look out your window, what do you see? are you satisfied? if you are, that’s great. if you aren’t … move to another window and see what you think.
11 ways I think travel has changed me:
1. I’m more confident in what I can do alone
2. I can relate a little more to people of different backgrounds
3. I long for beauty and see beauty in places I never did before
4. I am more thankful
5. I notice fresh air
6. I want to learn more about my family’s history
7. I want to help people
8. I want to make a difference in the world in some way
9. I see how putting your money toward the right things has a positive outcome on society and the world as a whole
10. I have a love for old things, such as buildings and cobblestone and pine forests. travel allows me to get close to these things and to hold on to them longer.
11. I see how there’s more than one way to do things … more than one way to think