The old cliche says the longest journey begins with the first step. Last year I took my first international solo trip and though I did plenty of research on what I needed to do once I got there, only experience could really prepare me for any of it. The path to get to that point was not easy, with the one exception, I made the conscious decision to do it.
Without much prior experience, the learning curve was steep. Other than a few family vacations while growing up, which consisted of driving past some of America’s most iconic landmarks in a hot car with no air conditioning, my experience was fairly limited. When I was seventeen, I embarked on an adventure that got me hooked on travel, new experiences, and making new friends along the way.
Then for the next twenty years, I did none of those things. I was in an unhappy marriage, I became a dad of three amazing kids, and then one day my life changed. I was divorced and starting a new path of rediscovery. Like the caterpillar, I had been in a cocoon and everything that I had been before was liquefied. I had the choice to become something else. The person I had been on track to becoming but sometimes you get sidetracked.
I kept running into situations that in my early 40’s were completely alien to me. It seemed like more often than not, someone was telling me that I needed to get out more. What do you mean you haven’t done X? Had I been living under a rock? Yes, in a way I had been. While I had spent nearly the entirety of my adulthood wiping butts and noses, my friends had traveled to Europe or Asia, sometimes Africa. They had mortgages and investment portfolios. I had a folding table and was gradually putting my life back together. I had never even bought plane tickets. It wasn’t a matter of keeping up with the Joneses, but more catching up to what I always wanted to do.
It took nearly five years to get to the point where I wedged myself between two strangers on an international flight and stepped off in a completely different place. My expectations quickly flew out the window. I had to think quickly on my feet and at other times, just let the moment sweep me along with it.
In this travelblog, I’m going to share with you my experiences, my victories and failures. I am also going to try to reach out a hand and help anyone else who found themselves in a situation like this. Taking that trip wasn’t just for me, but it was for my kids as well. We teach our children through example and we should genuinely be living life to the fullest, rather than showing them a simulation. Not only have I worked to catch up with my own expectations in travel, but it’s my job to show my kiddo (the only one left at home now) how to get out of your comfort zone and truly live.
Sometimes my trips are solo. Sometimes he’s right there with me. People come and go into our lives with the passage of time. We celebrate the moments and enjoy the experiences.