Hello, and welcome to my fledgling little blog!
I’m 27 years old, and I live right next to Washington, D.C., where I’m pursuing a career in defense contracting. Some might say that makes me your typical 20-something yuppie, and to tell you the truth, I’m a little afraid that I might become one. I’m passionate about what I do for a living, and I think I do a great job, but I’m neither traveling nor writing as much as I used to. I wonder what I have lost through this neglect of two of my true loves.
Two years ago, everything was entirely different. I was unemployed, fresh out of college at Virginia Tech (after lingering there for far too long), and slowly draining away my savings as I applied for random job after random job. I was living with my much-too-patient boyfriend, Eric, a Puerto Rican born and raised in The Bronx, who is quite possibly the most gentle and understanding soul you will ever meet. I was 25, but I felt like a child. While my loads of friends had moved on to nice jobs, or marriages, or just some set straight path, I was languishing, doing nothing but trying to find some kind of purpose. I’d always wanted to be a travel writer, but I also felt that I needed to try to make a real life for myself.
In short, I wanted to be a responsible young adult.
The word “responsible” had been alien to me. Although quite studious as a child, spending long hours reading books at home, I have a mischievous streak a mile long. Daydreamy and a bit of a space cadet, but with a long-term memory like an elephant, it’s easier for me to remember things I did at just a few months old (and in great detail) than it is to get a bill paid on time! And there’s a big part of me that’s restless, dissatisfied, immensely devoid of patience. I’m not happy staying in one place for too long. Oh, I’m not talking about moving — I’m talking about traveling, learning, seeing, doing — not just staying the same old and seeing the same old for so long.
So it’s no surprise that one of my greatest loves (besides Eric) is travel. When I’m in an airplane, no one on the Earth can reach me. When I’m someplace where nobody knows me, I can explore and be someone different, learn from people who see the world entirely differently, eat foods that can’t be found where I live. Until August 2007, I had lived in small towns my entire life, and I was used to the friendliness and ease of living (relatively speaking) that comes with that. But when I finally landed a job in the big city, this little girl finally grew up — all the way up. I have the jobs I’ve held to thank for that, but I also have travel to thank. I have been many places since I was a little baby, and while I can’t travel as much these days, I am thankful for every wonderful new experience, place, person, or idea that I come across.
I’m a pretty strong individual. I have learned to navigate hairpin turns with relatively clear, fast, and smart thinking. I am not afraid of what is coming next, but I like to tell myself it is good. If I live in fear, I can’t really go anywhere or do anything meaningful. And I realized the other day that I love the person I have become! I am that responsible young woman — but I’ve never lost my sense of fun and adventure, my desire to push it a little harder to see what happens, my refusal to give up even when things seem as bleak as they can get — because they never are!
So, where is my map? Well, I am always traveling — every day is a new journey and a new adventure. You see plaques with sayings like that on the wall all the time — but it’s true. I am not going anywhere in particular — even when I’m on a plane across the ocean — but I am always traveling, even without a map telling me what’s ahead.
This blog will talk about past and current travel experiences I have had, and those I hope to have. It will serve as the travel writing I should have been doing for many years, what I have always wanted to do. It will be a journey that I hope you will enjoy taking with me! I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.