"Find who you are & be the best woman you can possibly be."
I've never been a good test taker, I was never a big partier in college, and I always took on responsibilities that were well beyond my years. While I never fit the typical college student stereotype, I can tell you one thing for sure...I love to write and I'm a passionate traveler. I finally became confident in the fact that I was different from other people my age. Traveling was something that required me to step well out of the confines of a classroom and my various social groups. Some people fear the unknown, while I can't get enough of it.
Instead of spending money on nights out or the latest trends, I became a harder worker and smarter saver. I saved and worked and saved and worked and worked and worked and worked. My best friends (Julianna, Brianna, and Andrew) and family know that every summer throughout college I babysat for five families, worked as a weekend secretary, wrote for an online magazine, attended weekend work functions, and interned in Manhattan. I have always been the girl who juggled ten jobs just to have the satisfaction of depositing the check and booking the plane ticket when the opportunity came around. While my parents have blessed me a million times over, most of my travels have happened on my own dime.
I am proud that I can provide myself with the future that I want.
I have grown so much since my very first trip to Ireland as a six month old baby. Each place has taught me something new, challenged me, and inspired me in indescribable ways. I don't travel to merely check a place off the list. That's just a huge waste of time and money. I travel to bless and be blessed by others. I travel to humble myself and remember how very small I am in the grand scheme of things. I travel to have a renewed sense of how incredible this planet is. I am always baffled by how big this world is and how little I will see.
My college career is coming to a close and the "real world" is quickly around the corner. I know my future career must entail gratifying and creative work. While I don't expect to be zipping around the world (although I hope!) for my future job, I do know that there are plenty of companies that respect their employees and provide an atmosphere for productive and meaningful work. When I hit retirement in many, many years, I want to look back and know that I had a fulfilling--one that challenged me creatively and provided joy for others. You can be sure that I will use those handful of vacation days for some killer trips along the way!
There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.
If you're reading this and wondering..."where do I even start?" Even if you have the smallest bit of desire to get out there, bravo! That's the very first step. It all starts with curiosity and everything will take off from there.
Know what brings you joy.
Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Mission work? Relaxing time on the beach? or wandering aimlessly through cities? I promise you, wherever you choose to go will be so rewarding. Even after my most technically difficult trips, I have found so many reasons to smile. You will never regret a chance to learn and grow from another culture.
I got lost, but look what I found.
Celebrating my 30th country is surreal and at the same time I feel as though I haven't processed this accomplishment enough. That will take time. I'm grateful that I have taken such a big leap and started So Sydney NY as a way to share my joy of travel with others.
May you never cease seeking new adventures and learning from every high and low moment.