When I was in elementary school, I watched a story about a woman who had left the United States and moved abroad. It was so long ago that I can’t remember what show, who the woman was, or even where she moved to, but I can remember that it sparked something in me.
That afternoon I went to my grandmother, and told her confidently, “I’m gonna move someday!” She laughed, amused, because of course if a six-year-old told you that you would think it just another one of their fantasies. It was no different from barbies and princesses.
Even though I often don’t remember what I ate for breakfast, I remember that day vividly. Six-year-old me was serious, and stayed that way. As the years passed I received comments like “Why would you ever want to do that?” or “Sure you’ll leave for a while, but they always come back.”
Where I come from people are content to stay. They enjoy the weekly routine of working 9-5. It’s a comfortable life; a charmed life. But, it wasn’t the life I envisioned for myself.
Over the years I’ve learned it’s a life many young women are not content with. There’s the passion to see the world beyond the small bubble of what we were raised in. There’s the desire to experience new cultures, learn new languages, and meet people with stories so fascinating they change your world view.
I held that passion all the way until university where I went abroad for the first time to Japan at 19, the country that ultimately shaped the course of my life.
Within that same year I fully circumnavigated the globe for the first time.
This is what sparked the journey to becoming an ESL teacher later on, and eventually to journeying through 23 countries (though I’m far from being done) on a penny pinching salary.
Here you’ll find stories of the time I impulse bought a plane ticket to Portugal because I saw an advertisement for it on the side of a semi-truck, or the time my car slid on black ice in Japan and ended up in a ditch. You’ll find letters to the people who I’ve met during my travels - to the people who shattered and ultimately rebuilt my worldview. And, in the midst of it all, you might just find your own next adventure.