At this time on Friday evening, I will be in Baltimore-Washington International Airport awaiting the first leg of the flight to Barcelona, Spain. I have anticipated this final week for months, but now that it has crystalized into reality, the tingles from the concoction of excitement and fear have set in. I have been nonchalant about my upcoming travels whenever asked by a curious friend or family member. It may come off as indifference, or even as if I’m not excited at all, but it’s actually the complete opposite of that! I feel as if I am finally doing what I want in my life, not having to jump through hypothetical hoops to achieve my goals. My eagerness might not have been visible on the exterior, but the adrenaline from what’s about to come has been coursing through my bloodstream. I’m ready.
I realize now that it may come as a shock to whomever is reading this, knows me, but had no idea about this entire journey. This may come as a shock for whomever I told, but automatically assumed that it was tied to University, a study abroad program of sorts. To clarify, this is not affiliated with any college, this is my choice to travel alone. Six months ago I was still enrolled at Portland State University (sort of). I chose that college based on the city that it resided in, not on academics. I love PSU, I love Portland, Oregon even more. I lived there for six amazing months, none of which I’ve come to regret – minus the wasted college expenses. Upon reminiscing about Portland, I realize now that it may come as a shock to whomever I met in the city and had no idea about this entire journey. This may come as a shock for whomever I conversed with at any of the 3 jobs I was working at for the past 4 months. When I left college, I knew that I was leaving in pursuit of the seven continents. Money was an object not of desire, but of necessity for this endeavor. I quickly attained two new jobs on top of my old job as a barista. Days were long and repetitive, but I was truly humbled by the perpetual routine of work. On top of all the jobs that I worked, I was preparing for the CELTA course that I was hoping to enroll in. I had to apply, wait for my application to be accepted or rejected, then prepare for an interview via Skype, hope that the interview went successfully, then once accepted, allocate all of my free time to studying and completing all pre-course work. This has been my life for the past four months, substituting for my Associate’s degree. I could have stayed in uni since I’ve been affiliated with three different colleges in the past year and a half! From a prestigious songwriting major at Belmont University, to an unknown and unseen bout at Howard Community College, to finally end up as a Philosophy and English major at Portland State University, I can honestly admit that college was not my cup of tea. This earl-grey-connoseuir craved knowledge that came from empirical observations and a plethora of books related to whatever topic interested me that week. I was always a ghost in the classroom, reading all material given and completing all online classwork, but never a physical presence in the class. A quintessential student? I think not! I was too preoccupied with exploring the region that I was living in at the time. My fascination with exploration and the minutiae of all existence dictated my time. Upon reminiscing about skipping class and exploring the particular area that I occupied, I realize now that it may come as a shock to all the friends I made in Nashville, Tennessee and Columbia, Maryland and had no idea about this journey. This may come as a shock to all my peers that I went to high school with, to all my neighbors that grew up with me, even to the dedicated friends and family that supported my decision with their love and appraisal.
I have still been a bit vague in this first blog post, I hope it does not become a trend.
There are 196 countries in the world at this moment in time (I include Taiwan as a country) and I plan to live in every single one of them. A bold claim, but one that I will fulfill over my lifetime. Everything that I need, I will have with me and/or obtain on the road. My life fits inside my backpack now, subtracting my ever-so-kind-to-me guitar collection, and I plan to keep it that way until my backpack breaks down or gets stolen and the necessity to buy a new backpack materializes. I have a very tentative plan for the countries that I will first live in, more so improvising as I go. I covet the feeling of being lost, and I admire all past figures in history that have made a life in wandering. Every person that I have met up until this point has impacted my life to deepest depths and the furthest fault-lines; Gratitude is in my heart as compassion is in my actions.
“The return makes one love the farewell.” – Alfred de Musset
This website is a conglomeration of updates on my travels, random writings, a storage for my photography, a vessel for any videos uploaded, etcetera. I have as much of an idea for this website as I do for what I’m going to eat for breakfast tomorrow (no idea). Stay up to date with my life at your own discretion and willingness, I am sure I will see you again!