To stumble upon a quote that resonates deep inside you is worth memorizing, or at least keeping track of. A good quote is something to admire, as it so concisely manages to capture even the most grandiose of ideas in just a short phrase. A good quote also kind of makes me want to kick myself for not having come up with such insightful, tactful, hit-the-nail-on-the-head words first. Regardless, two of my favorites are:
I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. St. Augustine
While these two quotes are motivating, and I have to admit I was smitten the first time I read both, I’d like to clarify the second. In reality, anyone can travel. There are plenty of people who have jet-setted to more places than many others even know exist. But what did they do there? Where did they stay? Where and what did they eat? How many people did they meet or befriend? Unfortunately for many, their are answers banal, comfortable, and unadventurous. Truth is, the true culture or character of any location cannot be felt from inside even the nicest resort – one must venture out onto the path less traveled, get his/her hands dirty, strive in uncertainty and awkwardness, be a minority, take a wrong turn or two, learn, and grow. To travel lavishly, however worthwhile or well-deserved the trip may be, is the same as skimming the description on the back of the world’s book. To travel the way I believe St. Augustine intended, there must be adventure.
To increase the adventure factor, travel independently. Certainly one can fulfill an adventure while in the company of others, and often it makes for even greater stories. In the grand scheme of things however, and as cliché or selfish as it may sound, independence is key to personal happiness. Without it, goals are not achieved, expectations are not met, and your world is lived and viewed though everyone else’s shoes and eyes but your own. Not good. So, I’m opting to take the road less traveled by, knowing that it might not always be easy, fun, or comfortable, but trusting that it truly will make all the difference.
Which brings me to why I’m rambling and writing this blog in the first place. I’m joining the Peace Corps! As of November 23rd, I was invited to serve in the Dominican Republic as a Community Economic Advisor beginning in March. From March until at least May, I’ll live with a host family while I undergo some pretty intense preparatory training; my service officially starts in May 2013 and ends May 2015. There’s still a lot about those 27 months that I’m unaware of, in fact what I just told you is pretty much all I know; even that has a chance of changing. Anyway, it’s been a long process and I’m glad/anxious/pumped that March is quickly approaching. For the next couple weeks I’ll be staying in Denver for the holidays. Monday and Tuesday I have dentist and doctors appointments to finalize my medical clearance – wish me luck!!
Can’t wait for the adventure to truly begin.