An excerpt from 25 Before 25:
With over thirty states under my belt by the time I entered my 20’s, I decided to expand my goals to reach all seven continents before the good Lord called me home. So when I was given the opportunity to explore other continents, my heart was elated. My jaw physically dropped at the vast beauty of the Austrian land. My eyes ogled at the magnificent lakes and mountains that grace Switzerland. My nose rejoiced in the sweet smells of French pastries. My ears were soothed by the crashing waves off the Italian coast. My hands caressed and fed the wild animals that attract tourists to Australia. And my mind raced with curiosity around the hustle and bustle of Asian interaction.
We live in a world with seven continents, one-hundred ninety five countries, and nineteen major bodies of water. In the United States alone, there are fifty states each made up of hundreds of cities. The world is a big, big place with lots to learn and be seen. There is much culture in the world. Each culture, nationality, and tribe has its own set of morals and values that guide them through life. Every continent, country, and state has much to teach us. Teach us about ourselves, life, and love.
The miraculous creatures and exotic birds which make-up individual continents are fascinating. And the people...well the people indulge us with their charisma and charm gained from their ancestry. The language of tongue with which they communicate is a romance of its own. The rich spirit of life that they exploit is uncanny and unmistakable.
Each traveling experience has brought a sense of peace within me, and I hope that you too will be able to feel and experience such beauty. My heart still smiles as I venture into a new place. My eyes still light up at the world’s individual beauties.
Through travel, I have learned so much about myself and my surroundings. I have been challenged by removing technology and my cultural crutches in the small town of Telfs, Austria. Shut off from the Internet, email, and phone with no way to contact my family and friends and unable to read or communicate in the language of the land, I existed outside of my comfort zone. I developed a broader frame of reference for carrying myself through life, and satisfied my curiosity by supplying me with life-changing information. To be somewhat helpless and left to observe and absorb the culture and lifestyle of the foreign countries I visited was in many ways liberating. And as I encountered and conversed with people of various cultures during travel, my life became enriched with their knowledge and story of life. Furthermore, I was able to expand my horizons and gain a fresh perspective on life. A perspective that allowed and continues to allow me to check my judgments at the door and leave my comfort zone at home.
The largest journey I experienced while traveling wasn’t the 2000 miles, it was the internal journey with myself. As I brushed the unknown, I allowed myself to remember who I truly am and appreciate what I have. I opened my heart to the vast world before me. And I invite you to also open your heart to the world, our world.