I often don’t like excess attention. There are some days when I just want to slink back into my chair in class and just let the day wash over me. But there is one thing I’ll never let go by: an opportunity to talk about travel. If a big trip or vacation is mentioned, my ears will perk up immediately. And when someone catches my eyes, they almost always say, “Well, what do you think about it Matt?” I happily oblige every time: you can never give up a good chance for some travel story sharing.
That’s why I wanted to start write this blog. Seeing the sights is great when traveling, but the best part of traveling is meeting people along the way and trading stories. They tell you about the 16,000 foot mountain they scaled in Nepal, and you talk about the time your friend got heli-evacuated out of the British Columbia wilderness (ask me about it sometime). The connection is immediate: you both experienced events many others will never get the chance to experience. It’s an instant community.
Getting out of the house is one thing, but getting out of the country is a totally different experience. I have been lucky enough to have the chance to travel all over the world. The defining experiences of my life so far have occurred outside the expanse of the Red, White, and Blue. I have also been especially lucky that my travel companions have been my parents and my brother. Though I might not have agreed during those 3 hour traffic jams in India or getting lost in Venice, I do realize that those trips became a the bonding experience for us. I knew myself better for getting outside my own comfort zone, and knew my family better because the crazy mix of emotions on a trip only made me better understand the intricacies of their personalities.
Travel is in my blood now. I have only been back from Ghana for 3 months now, but I’m already rearing to head out of here again. Home is comfortable, warm, and loving, but life needs a stir every once in a while.
Tomorrow might be a slouch-back-in-the-chair day, but soon my mind will be wandering away from centripetal force, fundamental theorems, and college applications, out to the wider world. And that’s where I want to be. Travel shakes things up. It makes life dynamic, engaging, and exciting.
So go out and explore the unknown world. That’s where I’ll be.