Yeah, let's talk about that. Full disclosure, I'm 40 years old as I start this website and it's just now hitting me that I have spent over half of my life ignoring the true (non-human) loves of my life. Travel and art.
From a very young age I knew I wanted to explore the world. So much so that I spent my junior year of high school in the northern cowboy metropolis of a city in Brazil (Brasil) called Goiania as an exchange student through Rotary International. It was there that my eyes and heart were first truly opened to not only amazing vistas but ways of living I had never dreamed. I'd never seen a people so rich with love and happiness but living on so little. While my host families were living comfortably, they would take me to visit the favelas to serve meals and offer words of hope and encouragement to these beautiful people who would forever change my perspective.
In college, I majored in International Business and minored in Spanish and Art. I did a semester in Seville (Sevilla), Spain and managed to canvas most of Europe on a college-student budget, like so many do, often using a punch on my Eurail Pass for an overnight train so I wouldn't have to fork over the cash to stay in a hostel. Two birds with one stone - minus a shower. I was traveling with a friend. I wonder if she ever figured out that I made us go to places like Antwerp, Belgium just to see museums like Rubenshuis, the home-turned-museum of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. No, it wasn't for the diamonds. Remember? College-student budget.
On this hurried jaunt across Europe we managed to cover off Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic and of course Spain over the better part of one month following our semester abroad. At this point I had officially gone to more countries than States in the USA, picked up a couple of languages and thought for sure I was a shoe-in to be on The Amazing Race.
Alas, following college, the conventional, non-risk-taking (or so I thought) part of my brain took me down the proverbial beaten path. And I mean beaten. Heavily-laden of corporate America. I married, had kids and climbed the ladder only to become a VP of Finance for a publicly-traded company where I still work terrible hours at least seven months of the year. My husband worries about my health and what havoc all the stress might be causing. What grown woman still pulls all-nighters? Ridiculous. This year of Covid-19 has not helped matters. Working from home has created blurred lines. Now I'm always on the clock and am having a harder time setting boundaries to separate work and home. Two birds with one stone - minus a shower again? Hmmm. Something like that.
The in-your-face wake-up call literally came last week upon hearing of a close colleague that passed away too soon. Taking the time to reflect, I realized the calls had been coming for a long time, I was just choosing to ignore them. The calls were even coming from my own mouth. Making small talk with potential new hires during their interviews, I always tell people I never intended to go into accounting and finance. All I wanted to do, I quote, "was travel and be an artist." I just happened to be good at the former and it was paying the bills.
Don't get me wrong, the rat race has sent me on plenty of work travels across the globe. And early in our journey, my husband and I added scuba-diving as our favorite common hobby with fine dining and wine coming in as a close second, so our travel life has not completely shriveled and died. But it definitely needs a revival. I don't know if creating this site and sharing our stories will be a catalyst for making a change but it certainly is a step toward committing to the idea of change. I hope somewhere along the way it can also inspire others to get off the beaten path and see what this wide world, and it's resilient people, have to offer.
It's amazing out there,
"Then there is the most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later."
Feed coming soon