I'm struggling up a steep hill, having hiked a couple miles already, a glance ahead reveals the loose gravel road beginning to level off. I shift the weight of the backpack holding the food I just picked up at the small store back down the road, adjusting the straps to keep it from sagging. “Only another mile, slowpoke” my friend calls from ahead. “Yeah,” I think to myself, “only another mile.” My shirt soaked in sweat, my asthma acting up, feet protesting every step, but there's a difference, I'm having a great time.
That piece is out of my old journal that was written after my trip to Canada. I wasn't in the middle of nowhere, though it seemed that way sometimes because I wasn't familiar with the area. Looking back at my writings from 2006 and thinking back with fresh perspective, I've seen how much I've grown and changed in five years. I was fascinated by travel back then, though also afraid. Not afraid of the travels or the experience, but of what other people would think of the lifestyle I was desiring even then. Back then I cared so much about what people thought of my choices. I wanted people to approve of whatever I ended up choosing as a career. I was lost and confused and misguided. It took a long time to grow into the person I am today. I'm still growing, I'll never be finished “growing up” mind you. Life is all about the adventure.
A modern explorer. That's what I want to be. No, That's what I AM. I've always looked at Columbus (even though he failed at finding a route to Asia and found Cuba instead, he took it in stride), Marco Polo, all of those other explorers that I can't remember the names of, I've always looked at them with a sense of awe. “Thats what I want to do” I'd always say, but I always thought there wasn't an option for me to do anything of the sort. Now I know that there is in fact exploration out there. Sure, I won't be looking for new civilizations or vast unseen lands, but exploring the already established ones that are out there to see sounds like an adventure. That's what I want to do, that's what I am going to do. I will find a way to do what I want and be open to the various doors that life opens.
This dream is as multifaceted as a finely worked diamond. Each facet different while all together making something amazing. I'm discovering my talents as well as the things at which I am not as skilled. I can do chemistry decently, but not as well as most others. I can do other sciences as well, but not to the degree that many reach. I am learning that I have a penchant for writing and it happens to be something I've wanted to do for a very long time. Along with my dream of traveling the world, I am pursuing my dream to be a writer. I'm willing to do what writing comes my way, I'm not looking to be a hard news writer, but if that's a project available to me, it might be what I do for a period of time. If all I manage to write are tales of my exploits, so be it. I'm not under any delusion that this will be a walk in the park. I fully believe and hope that it will be the challenge I feel it will be.
With enough perseverance, hard work, and a good attitude, I fully believe that you can accomplish anything. I will be traveling by this time next year. In fact, I know that's what I'll be doing. I'm going to travel and write about my travels. I want to find more inspiration for writing. Things that I can put into a new perspective, have a source for more accurate brainstorms about the fiction novel I've wanted to write. I'm not afraid of danger, new things, or changes. Proof of this would be last year during the blizzard. A friend and I walked about 5 miles (2 and a half each way.) Why? We wanted chili for dinner and the campus store was closed so we walked through the blizzard to the grocery store. We caught a bit of flak for that when we returned. The RA's were not happy about it, but found the situation funny afterwards.
I'm not apprehensive about taking this kind of giant leap into the unknown, it excites me to be honest. This will be a huge step into new territory. Most people in my generation don't do things like this, I find that quite sad. The “wanderlust of youth” isn't entirely gone, but mostly involves small trips within our own country, within the confines of their home state or to neighboring states. I'm not knocking the USA or its sights to behold, I just think that if you're gonna go, go big or go home. I plan on seeing the sights back here at some point in my travels, I just want to get out there and experience the world first hand. I've spent 23 years in the USA, I'd say I'm due for a change of scenery.