There’s a certain mentality that many young boys maintain, myself included back when I neatly fit into that particular demographic: we wanted to be liked, respected, and sometimes even feared by as many of our peers as possible. In my opinion, this desire took a particularly strong hold in my mind from a very young age compared to my buddies. Despite the fact that I failed to win, or even become a contender in this contest that only truly existed in my mind, the desire took a long time to even begin to waver. To some, it may be silly to think of a chain-of-command amongst impressionable, disorganized, ignorant youth, but it sure as hell exists in some form or another in many adolescent social circles and I felt extremely conscious of it. I believe that the development and strength of this mentality was the root of years of stress, anxiety, and genuine unhappiness that’s taken a long time to correct, a process that’s still ongoing as I near my 30s.
Myself at 16
Travel, traversing this Earth that we are currently bound to, less than a pinprick on the cosmic scale of things, has been the most potent remedy for what some would refer to as my soul and what I will simply call my being.
But “travel” is a broad-sweeping umbrella that incorporates a great deal in terms of actual places that are available for us to see and experience, as well as how we choose to absorb these experiences. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on an all-inclusive in Mexico or if you’ve left your life behind for six months of backpacking on another continent with one change of clothes and no cellular signal. It all comes back to mentality. The mentality that you choose to project when and if you finally decide to go on a trip plays a crucial role in how travel ultimately changes you as a person. And it will change you, regardless of where you go and for how long, unless you’re literally putting all of your energy into avoiding the cultural minutia that you’re bound to come across.
I know, this is all somewhat abstract at the moment. But there’s no denying that a significant, or even fundamental shift in mentality has the tendency to translate into practical changes in life. A shift in priorities, maybe. A strengthening of skills we already possess. Ridding ourselves of personal shortcomings or weaknesses. For me, my goals are all of the above and then some. The more of the world I experience, the more variety of individuals and lifestyles I come across, and eagerly absorb, the more I will improve in all of those categories. And the more that I learn about others, the more I learn about myself, who I am, who I want to be. And on it goes. These entries will walk you through those experiences. I’ll explain as best I can how they’ve changed me and allowed me to pursue what, for me, has brought about more internal peace than I’ve experienced for a long time. And there will always be more to come. I’m only 28 and it’s already 2015, so who knows…my last entry could be about my trip to the moon, or further.