One of my favorite professors once said, “You’ll know you’ve found your passion when you find something you would do every single day for free.” Of all of my hobbies and interests, I have two that have always fallen into that category: travel and writing. With travel, my passion definitely began before I can even remember. I spent a majority of my childhood playing Disney films on repeat; watching Pocahontas canoe down rivers, Quasimodo scale the towers of Notre Dame, and Belle sing about her fear of never seeing anything beyond her own backyard. It’s no surprise that as soon as I was able to start saving up money on my own, I started planning my own adventures.
It only seemed right that when I started this blog, I gave it a name that reflected where my passion came from. To quote the 1955 classic, Lady and the Tramp:
“Exactly. Life on a leash. Look again, Pige. Look, there’s a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences? And it’s all ours for the taking. It’s all ours.”
With writing, I can trace my passion back to Halloween of 2nd or 3rd grade. Being that Halloween fell on a weekday and we only had to endure a half-day of class before our night of trick-or-treating, our teacher gave us the assignment of writing a scary story “at least a full page to two pages long.” By the time I finished my story, I had written twenty-seven pages, had a hand covered in smudged pencil led (#LetHandersUnite) and a small group of students standing around me.
I began reading as many books as I could, getting lost in the adventures of characters. As I got older I tried to experience as much as the world as I could within my limited budget; visiting the Delaware Water gap, white water rafting down the Lehigh River.
While I had done a decent amount of domestic trips, it wasn’t until a few years ago, thanks to a college class when I had my first abroad experience; a service-learning trip to Nicaragua. And that was it. I spent a week and a half on adventures I had only dreamt of, from hiking to the summit of a volcano, to jumping into Lake Nicaragua after dusk, to coming up close and personal with wildlife.
While completing my undergraduate degree in Hospitality & Tourism, I also discovered a new passion for ecotourism and sustainability. Since then, I’ve not only longed to travel but to travel well, leaving the communities and areas I pass through in the condition in which they were when I arrived. And to avoid experiences or excursions that I feel unethical or that may not be sustainability-friendly.
I am constantly on the hunt for new adventures, even those a short drive from home, but my thirst for travel is nowhere near quenched. I hope you join me on my adventures, even if some of those take me around my own city, because I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag