Wanderlust: n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

I have deep wanderlust; immersing myself in a place, being with the people, learning about the culture, finding the off beaten paths, eating the food, drinking the drinks, and simply just being.

I think this all started when I lived in Africa. A place so different than anything I ever knew, and that was definitely not a bad thing. I grew up in a upper-middle class situation, and always had anything I needed and wanted. You know, upset because the Starbucks line is too long, or the food in the restaurant is taking a little too long. Maybe the store you’re in doesn’t have your size. I am sure you get what I am trying to say. So, when I went to Africa, it was a complete culture shock!

The power went out all the time, no one stands in lines (more of like a funnel), the roads are awful, and when it rains the traffic stands still. If you wanted an American comfort, it was expensive and only came at certain times of the year. The people lived on less than $2 dollars a day, while the government was very rich.

But you want to know one thing all the people had in common, they were all happy. They had their family and their friends, and they walked around with smiles. No matter what hardships they faced, they were grateful for what they did have and know that life could always be worse.

I spent a year in Lagos, Nigeria and had the time of my life! I spent Sundays at the beach, with expats while the local boys bbq’d food and brought us beer (we paid them of course). I met Italians and Lebanese and went out on the weekends. I volunteered at the American International School with the Theatre department. I shopped in the local markets. I took a road trip to Southern Nigeria where I stayed in a chalet and swam in the most beautiful, crystal blue river I have ever seen. I went gambling and went to clubs. I went to a Scottish ball and a whiskey tasting. Drank at some rather questionable bars. And I will never forget a moment of it.

After Nigeria, I have traveled to other countries and have lived in Indonesia, where I thought ESL. Now, Indonesia is not as third-world as Nigeria, but it is still third-world and can be a bit difficult if you aren’t prepared for that life. However, it is beautiful, the people are incredible, and no matter what, they all smile!

The moral here is this: traveling is a staple in my life and should be something that all people experience. Living in another country gives you a perspective that we all need, to keep our eyes open to the fact that our way is not the only way.

I will be positing all things traveling here, for you to enjoy! If there is anything you would like me to talk about, let me know!