So here I am. Sitting on a 5 hour plane ride to California on a Sunday, for work. All of this free time gives me a lot, maybe too much time, to think.
I crack open my laptop and start writing. It’s easy and I enjoy it – these words just flow out of my mind and through my fingertips as fast as I can type them. Something about writing on this dear old blog of mine I just enjoy.
Thoughts of a Traveler
The one thing that I come back to most often is “What do I want to do with my life?” For some reason I’m stuck with the feeling that I need to do something “big” with my life. I think almost everyone has that feeling to some extent, but I’ve always had the sense in my gut I need to do something “more.” I’m not completely sure what that “more” is either.
What I want to do keeps coming back to the idea that I want to do something that affects people. I want to share ideas and somehow help a person or two. I’ve thought about writing, politics, and even missionary work of some kind. Maybe that’s why I like keeping up with this blog so much – a part of me feels like getting a few ideas down is accomplishing something.
I remember when I was a kid I was sure I was destined to play in the NFL. I didn’t realize just how obvious it was that was never going to happen, but I think it comes back to that feeling I’ve always had that I need to do something “special”. I’m not sure if that’s just ego talking, ambition, a desire to help people, or some combination thereof.
I do know that ultimately whatever it is that I choose to do I want it to be for the benefit of others. I know I have been thought a lot in my life – stuff that I’m pretty sure is above what the average guy has probably been though.
Somehow I’ve managed to make it through all that. That has to mean something and give me some insight I can share with some other person out there that might benefit from my experience. Maybe it’s those very bad experiences in my life that drives me to really want make things better.
That’s kind of what draws me to Politics. The idea of public service and the ability to influence things for the better seems exciting and almost ideal. I could seriously see myself holding political office and writing books to influence public opinion – hopefully for the better. Neither of those things will probably happen, but the idea feels right.
Travel and Writing
I am so passionate about traveling and writing. I feel like both have helped me grow almost infinitely. Every time I travel somewhere I learn something new. I learn something about the people, about the culture, and about myself. Most importantly my perspective changes – I become more global – and I think that is something a lot of people in America need.
Sometimes when I talk to people and they are stuck in this little bubble they’ve built for themselves it literally makes me angry. Ignorance is fine, but intentional self-perpetuated ignorance is the fucking bane of my existence.
For me, writing about travel has been critical too. Following up on your ideas, defending them, doing a little research, and realizing it when you’re wrong. That has been key.
A Southern Boy from a broken home
By all accounts I should be trailer trash. I mean this literally. My parents were married at 17, neither have a high school diploma, both have long standing addictions to drugs, I can’t remember a time when my Dad held down a job or ever being insured, yet somehow I’ve made it.
I’ve made it out without developing dependence. I’ve made it out without a criminal record. Most surprisingly and unexplainable to me is that I have made it out with desire. A desire to be open minded, to learn, to explore, to spread ideas, to push my limits, and to thrive. I’m not sure where it even came from.
If anything THAT is what makes America great. If a guy like me can make it anyone can. When I look back on my life I feel so fortunate, so amazed, and almost baffled that I somehow defied the odds. I know there is some other kid, just like me, out there that needs guidance.
In my life there were a handful of people that helped me get by. Coaches, mentors, teachers, and friends that lead the way. It seems obvious now, after this long rant, why I feel the need to do “more”. If I don’t do something worthwhile I am wasting this gift that was given to me.