I am currently listening to the Frozen soundtrack for the 9,472nd time this week. That’s right. For the past week my sister has been staying with us along with my 5 week old nephew and my 1 1/2 year-old niece who is infatuated with Frozen, just like every other young human in the world. My eyes pop open in the morning and I’m immediately singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” and twirling around as if I have magical powers to freeze things. Disney, man, you win.
But this week was more than an unending musical. This week I finished my first year back to school after a four year hiatus. I gave myself a pat on the back because I’m proud. I’m proud that I finally took the initiative to go back despite every apprehension. Part of me feels really cool and accomplished. But there are actually tons of people doing things that are so much cooler. Like the people who are graduating this weekend with their undergrad or masters. Or, hi, how about Meb Keflezighi who just won the Boston freaking Marathon at the age of 38.
Or my friend Jamie, an insanely gorgeous and adventurous beauty I met when I lived in Jackson, Wyoming. She’s originally from New York, and her quick wit and raw honesty are evidence of this. She will call you out if you’re being an idiot and stand behind everything she believes with sincere grit. Jamie also goes on travel adventures that can make the Homebody of the Year want to get out and see the world.
Like back in 2012 when she decided to spend some time in Thailand. And then extended her stay and traveled through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. We were all back in Jackson just waiting for her to return and then she would decide to stay longer…and longer….and longer. She met people along the way with whom she traveled, and went on solo adventures as well. She’s truly a badass.
Gaaah, I love to hate her (with love).
There’s also the time, in 2011, when she traveled to South America and did things like this:
Yes, sand boarding down the Huacachina dunes
biking a dangerous 13,123 feet downhill road (with oncoming traffic) in Peru
ziplining….with that setting. GAH.
Hiking Machu Picchu
I mean, really. Just stop.
During her South America trip she visited Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Argentina. Whoa. During the past couple years she’s gone on some shorter trips to Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala.
Jamie isn’t a born world traveler. It wasn’t until 2007 at the age of 27 that she went on her first solo trip to Costa Rica, just after spending her first summer out west in Jackson Hole. It gives me hope that maybe my traveling days haven’t even started. If I can head anywhere in the direction Jamie has gone, I’ll be a wildly happy girl. As I was going back and forth with Jamie today on the phone, she also mentioned that after this summer she wants to buy a one way ticket to…somewhere. She listed off a couple places, but for the sake of keeping you in the dark, not giving away all her secrets, and for the hope that she may get back to sharing her adventures through her own blog, I’m not going to tell you. (JAMIE’S BLOG HERE)
There are things that change us, and I think travel is one of them. The kind of travel where you get deep into the culture and be a little vulnerable. The kind of travel where not everything is planned out. Where maybe you get lost and come out with a really great story. You can start it with “Ah, that reminds me of that time I got so lost in the middle of the jungle on Easter Island and the natives spit on me because I have red hair.” …..or something like that.
My grandparents didn’t start traveling until they were in their 60’s, and my grandma was skeptical. After their first trip overseas, however, she was hooked. It’s apparently the best drug out there.
I hope with all my heart that I don’t wait until I’m 60. I hope with all my heart that you don’t either.
Do you have any truly awesome travel tales? I’d love to hear/read them.
Also, if you are one of my readers outside of the U.S., I want to say THANK YOU for reading. Let’s get in touch, let’s connect, let’s talk about each other’s cultures and hometowns. Seriously. And then maybe we can visit each other.
Lastly, thank you, Jamie, for being as awesome as you are (and for letting me use your photos). I have a very special place in my heart that is just for you.
To our passports,