One year ago, on January 23rd 2015, my friend Esther and I touched down in Marrakesh, Morocco for a long weekend getaway full of adventure! (Sidebar: My friend Esther is pretty cool, an impeccably dressed fashionista with the biggest heart and warmest smile. I often shop in her wardrobe or make mental notes of my next purchases as she wears them! LOL) As we walked though the airport to get a taxi to our home for the next 3 days, Es mentioned this trip was her 23rd country on her quest to hit 30 countries by her 30th birthday! I was hit by instant inspiration, and tried to recall what number this trip would make for me thinking “surely I’m at about the same number?”. I realized quite quickly, the reality was completely the opposite. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always considered myself a jet-setter, being on a plane 2-3 times a year on average. It just made NO SENSE that I had only been to 10 other countries over the course of my ENTIRE life at that time, and wasn't sure I could hit 19 more countries within the next 2 years. Well, it kinda did make sense… I was a frequent visitor to the United States of America. My passport had so many of the same stamp, flicking through it made me feel like I really hadn’t seen much of the world like I thought I had. Needless to say, I quickly back tracked after my initial desire to jump on the #30before30 bandwagon.
Have you ever managed to talk yourself out of something that could be great with both legitimate AND crazy farfetched reasons, ultimately, because of fear?...
…Yea, well that was me. In a short space of time (still walking through Marrakesh Menara Airport) I created scenarios in my head as to why I couldn’t do it; “D, you KNOW travel is expensive, how will you afford to go to 19 more countries in 2 years?! On average, you’ll have to travel 9-10 times each year! How are you gonna manage that AND hold down a job at the same time? Who is going to travel WITH you? You’re actually Bae-less (single). How will a good man find you if you’re always on the move with this Carmen SanDiego spirit? (that last reason is actually my mother’s constant and very present warning! LOL). What if you start this and don’t actually hit 30 countries because the rapture happens and God calls you on home to glory?... Is it really by force?...Forget it, just travel at leisure as you have been, its safer; this way you can’t fail!”
As I said, after immediately WANTING to jump on the bandwagon, I fell back and told Es I’d be her cheerleader instead. In true Esther spirit, she shut me down, called out my fear and ended with a pep talk that made me feel silly for doubting myself. I definitely gave Es a major side eye that said “easy for you to say Ms. 23!” but smiled with gratitude.
With very little confidence in my bank balance and a touch of blind faith, I decided to take the journey, and document as I did so! My journey so far has been incredible in more ways than the obvious. Of course meeting new people, learning about new cultures, languages and customs has been a wonderful experience. I have grown so much, learned a lot, and found a new sense of self through travel. I love the woman I have become so far, and I am excited about the woman I am evolving into. I’m gaining MUCH more than I bargained for and I love it!
My intention with this blog is to merely inspire! I was inspired by Es, so it’s only right that I do the same. I’ll be sharing my past and present travel experiences, as well as my future travel goals. I’ll also share some of my other life experiences, which I hope will be a source of inspiration as well. I’m excited to share and I am grateful to have you on this journey with me! I’d LOVE your feedback so feel free to comment, keep up and keep in contact with me!