In March 2016, I went on vacation to Costa Rica and was reinvigorated with the dream I had held since I was 16-years old, sitting on a beach in Mexico vacationing with my family, to travel in an RV through Central and South America. Travel had been instilled as an important value in me from a young age by my parents, and I always felt more connected and genuine when it was a driving force in my life. I knew that when I was older I would go on the many adventures I dreamt up for myself.
I was living in New York City from the age of 19. I graduated college in 2014 and got a job right after in order to afford life in New York. I worked in reproductive health at a non-profit, a job which I found interesting and rewarding but equally frustrating and limiting. I was not where I felt I needed to be, and I was suffocated by the reality of office 9-5 life. I have never been particularly good at walking along the path most travelled, living and making the choices that are “expected.” I skirt along the edge, dipping my toes into normalcy but never quite managing to make it work, generally feeling as though I am looking through the looking glass. This has been, for better or worse, true for as long as I can remember. I have always doubted my differences, wondering why I cannot be happy and successful in the way I see those around me performing. I am still on the path to finding confidence. And I knew that taking a step towards a less conventional, less static, perhaps less comfortable, but a more honest life was something I needed to do, rather than continue in stalemate, as I felt I was doing. I love New York and plan to return one day. But for now, I needed to look my teenage self in the eyes and fulfill some of the promises I made to her. I needed to go on this journey.
So I modified my dream (I don’t drive, but I can backpack!), quit my job and in March 2017 I hit the road. I needed to go on this journey, and so off I go.