Americans simply do not travel enough. I have met sparingly few Americans while traveling, which needs to change. People with average means in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe manage to travel. We have so much to see and do in America that you can go your whole life without getting a passport but that is a petty excuse to miss out on so many great cultural experiences that you can’t find within the safety of your own borders. Being out here, sometimes roughing it, I have been awakened by what’s out there and it is stunning. The eye opening experiences are not limited to the history, architecture, world-renowned art, and natural wonders that I have come across. It has become so much more that. Sharing thoughts and ideas with people from around the globe both young and old has forced me to think more deeply. The people I have met have helped me change my opinions and make some of my convictions even stronger, whether we agree or disagree. Putting myself out there with the risks that are constantly dangling in front of me from talking to a cute girl at the hostel to driving a peculiar Maori around has livened up my spirit. Not until I went to Europe did I think any of this was possible. I had been so stuck into the rut I had been in that I did not realize the opportunities that were available to me, if only I just took that one step forward and question the unknown. The unknown is scary, a true mystery. Heck, I don’t know what is coming next, both good and bad, but I am excited to find out what is waiting behind the velvet curtain. I have learned that no one knows their own limits. Some daredevils go beyond theirs while many, the majority, fall well short of theirs thinking they are incapable of more. I am not saying that everyone is meant for greatness such as being a movie star or some local celebrity but I believe we all have a little extra left that we are afraid to use. I am trying to accept that challenge to explore myself and the world around me. As I explained to a woman in my room in Rotorua in a very cliche way, we should all look at the world with the wonderment of a child. Look at the world with a certain amount of curiosity because at the end of the day that is what keeps life fresh, new, and exciting. I have realized while going halfway around the world that it can be in everything we do and everywhere we go, even the small towns we travel so far away from. It is unbelievable how much my mind has been opened up after being held within the clutches of the “day to day”. I know I must go back home to get a degree and make something of my life but I thoroughly hope I do not lose these lessons.
Lessons Learned While Globetrotting (Part 1):