During the end of summer last year, I had the fortunate opportunity to travel around the world with a giant backpack and empty passport. My experiences in traveling around the world was slim, and I had yet to really leave the United States. I was filled with excitement, along with a hint of anxiety to determine if traveling all by myself was the key to self discovery. It was a stereotypical college student’s dream, and I was on the journey to adventure and enormous student debt.
When I had arrived to these variety of countries that I had dreamed of visiting since I was a kid, I couldn’t grasp onto the idea of whether this was reality. It was. There was the bittersweet realities of traveling, and how it opened my eyes to what I haven’t seen from the suburbs of my home in New Jersey. I helped tackle the confusion of addition and subtraction by teaching 1st grade students in Cape Town. I watched a futbol game in a pub as I chugged a pint of cider in London. A Turkish man was brutally interrogated and tortured in the Istanbul airport as I felt myself get sick after taking a bite of a Turkish delight that was given to me by a happy salesmen. My heart dropped profusely, and I swore like a sailor as I bungee jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa. I ate a delicious plate of spaghetti in Rome, and sipped on a foam filled cup of cappuccino. A Romanian gypsy and her friends pick pocketed me outside of the Louvre, and I went back to bravely and stupidly punch them in the face as we both made our way to the Parisian police station (no return of my iPhone, by the way). I felt the cold, rough construction of the historical Berlin Wall. There was joy, pain, regret, and adventure in this journey of self discovery. All of it in one backpack.
When I returned to the states, I had these endless amount of stories ready to be shared, but none were yet truly revealed to the world. I kept them inside of me, still processing. I took a few months off blogging from my personal blog, Minestrone Soup for the Soul. In the end, I decided to say farewell to it after four plus years. It was a blog that recounted on my past and not my present. With the welcome of the new year and after traveling around the world, I had a fresh new pair of eyes. I can’t say I have truly seen the world because that most certainly isn’t the case.
I visited some of the richest and poorest ares around the world. I come from a middle class family, where I attend a very expensive private university, and I can’t define myself as poor. And even if I do correctly define the word “poor,” this will not remark on how intelligent I am. I do understand the extent of happiness, passion, opportunities, and a normal life that people around the world can not have. I am lucky everyday to be able to enjoy all of these things. I am lucky to have this passion for writing and to gain the opportunity to pursue a career in it in Washington, D.C. With blogging and social media, I have been successful enough to grab the attention of readers to enjoy my writing and photography. The power of technology and social media connects all of us around the world. We are able to express ourselves with the infinite amount of experiences that we hold.
And so I am here to unpack the backpack that I had with me around the world. Ready to share, and eager to show you what I have seen through my fresh pair of eyes.