Who Are you?
As I was raised between The United States and Dominican Republic, adulthood was dictated by cultural expectations to go to college, getting a salary job, marriage, buying a house, having kids, and finally retire at 65, that was not the life that I wanted. In my early 20s I realized that I needed to take control of the life that I always dreamed of.
I did not expect to plan trips with friends that would always fall through, I learned to be able to enjoy my own company, to be able to sit down at a restaurant or bar by myself and enjoy the outing, that cultures are different than what media and society feeds us, that even though religions have had a history of dividing us there are people who accept you for who you are. In an overall, I learned how to see life.
In my teenage years there would be sleepless nights that I would just lay down in bed and imagine myself travelling around the world after high school, one movie that I used to watch multiple times was Eurotrip. Travelling was for the rich, that you needed too much money to be able to go abroad, this was the belief I had composed.
Side note: Because I was born in the United States, it gives me the opportunity to travel to many countries without difficulties and my national currency is higher than other nations which helps me to save for trips abroad faster, but I would also like to point out that I have met many travelers who are from other nations who worked to be able to travel and explore the world. In other words: Do not think that some of us woke up with money, all of us worked hard on our own ways to be able to do what we love, even if it meant cleaning toilets on the weekends to be able to pay for college, which I proudly did.
I always heard the cliche phrase “traveling changes you” and it was just an exaggeration from people who wanted to brag about traveling but, when I started backpacking for 7 weeks (about 1 and a half months) at 25 years old after quitting my yearlong dreadful job, I changed.
What Made Me Fall in Love with Traveling?
As the days approached for my 6+ months backpacking trip through Latin America, I felt the stress of packing everything I own, giving up my place of 3 years, quitting my job which meant that I would not see money flow the following months, but it was something I needed to do.
One thing I never read is how much stuff we hold. I always brag about how minimalist I am but, I held to many things that I did not see in plain eyesight. The purge of just getting rid of unnecessary things was like a belt being loose after being too tight.
Luckily, I have supportive friends and family that motivated me to finally do this trip, my brothers helped me move all my belongings and my sister who provided her home for me to storage everything because I was not sure if I would return to New York.
Even though I previously said I have support, there were occasions that someone would say things about certain countries I planned to visit to make me rethink about traveling. I found out that it was individuals that had never left their comfort zone, or as I call it “bubble.” Few said that I am crazy for leaving a stable job but what I find it crazy is the comfortability we take that can be a dangerous weapon because it stops us from living our true life, the one we desire and genuinely want, for me it is traveling.
“Are you crazy?” “Yes, crazy to live life.”
For a year, I used to have a roommate that was in her late 40s, we used to sit at our kitchen table and talk about life, our retirement plans, my travels, and backpacking, and how she wanted to start traveling in 9 years when she was going to finally retire. Sadly, she did not make it. Getting that text from the property owner kept me in shock for a few days, I was just sitting down and laughing with her two days earlier. Deep down, this was the extra push I needed to finally do this trip. I was hesitant to finally do it because of the pandemic.
Loss of a Roommate: