How Traveling Changed My Life
I used to be really self-centered. Not in the selfish everything is about me kind of way, more in the I’m sheltered I don’t know better kind of way. I grew up in the suburbs, right in the middle between Sacramento and San Francisco. Before I went to college, I didn’t know people really lived in small towns. I think I sort of believed everyone lived in a suburb because it was all I really knew. Consequently I married someone who’s hometown population was 500.
It’s not like I never saw anyone different from me (remember the San Francisco part?) it just never registered. I didn’t understand that there was a vast world out there with people who had different cultures and customs and lived so differently then we do. It didn’t register that in other places of the world other people were enjoying scenery so fresh and inspiring that it could make your jaw drop in awe for a better part of an hour.
The first time I traveled outside of the Western United States I was 21 years old and married. It wasn’t anything so spectacular just Washington DC, but it was enough. Enough to make me realize what I had been missing. I knew after that one simple trip I was done for. My life had changed all because my perspective had. Maybe it had been different if I hadn’t married Reid. Reid has been traveling since he was young and he was the one who introduced me to this insatiable appetite. Maybe if I had married someone else and gone on a trip with them, they would have been able to talk me out of this addiction instead of fuel the fire. They would have been able to ground me from the dream world that I constantly live in.
Traveling allowed me to understand that there was more to this life than just me, you and us. It’s about everybody. Everybody has a purpose, a reason, a passion. Somebody else’s problem is different and often times much more complex than our own problems. As weird as it may sound, traveling to the unknown and foreign helps me feel more of myself. I feel more alive and real.
Traveling changed my life because it gave me a reason to live. It gave me a curiosity and a purpose to write. It will always be my muse and for that I will be eternally grateful.
How has traveling changed your life for the better?