It’s wasn’t long ago when a good friend of mine told me that his cousin “really looks up to you.” He’s much younger than I. Someone who, at the time, had yet to travel out of his country. “He wants to do what you’ve done.” This in reference to traveling the world. Unafraid to do so solo.
I started traveling purely for my own self enrichment. Keeping a promise to my eight-year-old self. Promising that as soon as I had the money and opportunity, I would fly away. And that I definitely did. Booking a $600 round-trip flight from Phoenix to New York City and another $400 for a nice hotel in Manhattan for four days. It was the first time I spent that amount on something that wasn’t tangible, something I couldn’t hold in my hands. Fast forward to nearly 20 countries later, zero regrets, thousands of dollars (and other international currencies), photographs, words, miles, and memories behind me, here I sit feeling grateful that I could be a source of inspiration and adoration.
I had been around the world and to over a dozen countries before I acquired a DSLR camera. Before I had any photography, Adobe, design experience. Before I had any social media accounts to share with people. I had no idea people would see my photos or read my words and be inspired. Because of that, I find myself looking back on what I’ve accomplished, where I’ve been, what people see, and what they’re inspired by. I work hard but still know I’m far beyond blessed.
I’m not someone that has been to every country in the world nor do I care to be. I’ll take ephemeral, vivid experiences and the creation of increasingly valuable memories of a place I’ve been before over being able to say I’ve been to a certain country but never truly experienced anything within it. I’m not someone who left their lucrative corporate job to travel the world. I’m just like all the other working stiffs out there and to some, that’s more impressive.
To the younger people hoping to travel the world some day, it’s not always easy but it’s not impossible. To the older people thinking their time has passed, it hasn’t and it’s not too late. It’s never too late to inspire someone who may need it to get through a rough day. We’re not dead so live your life like you will be someday.