Do not listen to what they say, go seeChinese proverb
Perhaps I took that quote at little too literally.
In the beginning
In the beginning, travel and adventuring was just a dream. For most of my childhood, I rarely left South Carolina, and if I did, it was often to a neighboring state. Definitely not another country. Or even California. I wanted adventures like James Bond (the locales, not the women). I craved adventures like Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything. As a kid my walls were decorated with country flags instead of boy bands. I knew there was more to life than living in the small Southern town I happened to be in. That small town that is definitely NOT a tourist destination did give me ample opportunity to dream of getting out of it.
Field Trip (Mis) Adventures
In 3rd grade we, and be we, I mean our entire elementary school 3rd grade class, took a field trip to Charleston, SC. The trip was mainly to visit Ft Sumter, but also a couple other ‘historic’ sites as well. I gotta say, being on that little boat–for someone with my imagination–was magical.
As a slightly older 8th grader, our class went of a field trip to Atlanta, GA. We visited MLK’s house/church, went to Cyclorama, and finished out the weekend with a day at six flags. Back then, 13 year olds did not have cell phones or even pagers. So when nature called, I came out and found the entire group had vanished. Clearly the chaperones didn’t do a head count and there I was–alone on there streets of the ATL. I don’t know what a ‘normal’ 13 year old would have done, but I know what I did.
With $$$$ in my pocket and a passing knowledge of how to get around without driving, I set out on my own adventure. I walked down to the nearest MARTA station (about a 10 minute walk), hopped on a train, and headed to the baseball field to catch a Braves game. [Now the Braves have never been my favorite team, but as a 13 year old, I had a unhealthy affliction with the game, and that lasted well into my 20’s.] So, while everyone else followed the crowd, I literally blazed my own trail through Metro Atlanta. At 13. After the game, I went back to the hotel a waited for the group to return. Like I had been waiting on them all day. Surprisingly, or maybe not, I returned just before the rest of the group, and pretended I’d been there all day. Adventurer and troublemaker, all in one.
For the purposes of conversation, I am classified as a geriatric millennial. Or a baby gen X. Definitely the micro generation of Xennial. While I didn’t have a completely analog youth, it was definitely NOT the digital ones that my nieces will grow up in. And by having divorced parents who rarely spoke to each other meant no one really knew where I was at any given time.
So. At the tender age of 15, I boarded a Greyhound bus for Baltimore, Maryland. The sole purpose of the trip was to see the Orioles play. And it was awesome. I saw the countdown to 2131 and loved my cheap seats in the upper deck. How I didn’t get kidnapped is a mystery to me, but these early experiences were the catalyst for later adventures
All this to say, I’m feeling bored with my life, stale in my career, and unsure of what I should do next. So I’ve decided to hop on a plane and go explore the world. Or at least a corner of it, and have a few more adventures of my own.