Looking back on my life, I can pinpoint the pivotal moments that led me to where I am today as a travel writer and wannabe entrepreneur. These are the rare moments where I finally did what I spent most of my days dreaming about. These are the moments that I think, have changed me the most.
2009 . I was 19. I had dropped out of college with my boyfriend at the time. We drove across the entire country, seeing 28 states along our journey. With our tails between our legs, we returned home. But home, didn't quite feel like home anymore. I remember sitting there on the floor of my bedroom, my back leaning against the twin size bed that I used to call mine and staring at the palms of my hands in the orange light. My older sister, in an act of rebellion against our parents, had painted our entire room, ceiling and all, a clementine orange that left everyone and everything in an orange-y, hazy glow. My mother said it made the room look like the inside of an oven, and it would make us all angrier for living in one.
My hands looked as if they didn't belong to me.
2014. I was turning 25, and I flew to Nicaragua alone. I celebrated my birthday swinging in a rocking chair watching the moonlight peek through the palm trees above me, with only the sound of waves crashing against the shore to wish me a Happy Birthday. It was that trip that changed me again, charged me, revitalized me. I became ferociously confident that I could do anything.
2015. I was 25 and I traveled to 3 continents, 12 countries, 32 cities and 5 states. When I look back at old photos of myself from last year, I barely recognize myself.
As motivated, passionate and creative as I think I am, the other half is a lazy, insecure and pessimistic girl who is too scared to move from the precipice. It's a daily battle that I've fought all throughout the years. There are countless half written screenplays, books, website ideas, and companies in my notebooks. Even today, I have half thought out projects sitting in limbo because of...who knows why? Fear of failure? Laziness? Uncertainty? Traveling has helped me gain the confidence to stop making excuses and to finally follow through with these projects. With every new country, new city, new friend, new conversation, I feel stronger, sharper, and guided. The world seems a little less scary, and failure doesn't look as bad anymore.
I've accepted the fact that life is a battle of ups and downs. There's no such thing as a perfectly motivated person who is always pushing forward. I used to have a very naive and unfounded confidence that things would happen if I simply thought really hard about them. Once you've climbed to the top of an actual mountain that you never thought possible, well, it makes you realize that hoping and dreaming won't get you to the end, but that your own effort will.
Traveling changes you to not waste a single second. When you're on the go, you become aware of how short your time is in the city or country that you are visiting. Each minute becomes valuable, and you've got to make sure each moment is textured with worthiness. Nowadays, I have an incessant desire to surround myself with knowledge and people who inspire and motivate me. Much of the time, I am trying to learn something new. I'm the adult equivalent of the kid who always has their hand up in class to ask a question.
I used to be too scared to raise my hand. Nowadays, that's all I do.