I get a lot of questions about why I left the United States last summer. Before leaving for Southeast Asia I wasn’t really sure what my reasons were for journeying over continents and oceans alone.
It wasn’t for my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Nutrition.
I didn’t leave because it was an item on a college experience checklist.
I left to view a new part of the world. Expand my horizons. Take classes that could be deemed “irrelevant” to my major in some respects. Buddhist philosophy. An introduction to Thai language. I admit I shared my reasons for travel with a few people who didn’t understand. Why go abroad if it wasn’t for a paid internship? Why not fulfill a few nutrition credit hours?
This was maybe one or two individuals out of the many that supported my decision in going abroad for a new perspective, and to view my life from several thousand miles away. It didn’t need to be for a career. It wasn’t to climb ladders with new words written on linen resume paper.
I observed the daily life I was living while exploring a new country. A trip that distanced me from the familiar and it was exactly what I needed to realign myself.
It was the trip that made me ask myself: Am I doing what I love in life?
When I got back, it was decidedly easier to convey this reasoning that maybe wasn’t all that clear as I was packing my bags and nervously booking flights.
I left to find my path and purpose in life. Share smiles with new people. Taste exotic fruits fresh from mountainside crops. To describe the color of my hair in a new language. To get lost in foreign cities while discovering the unknown. I left to find adventure. And adventure met me at the airport in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
I only have this one life to live and travelling abroad opened my eyes to my desire to find happiness as I grow older. It helped me understand what I want from my daily life. It made dream more, laugh more, and reach out to others more.
I’m home in Ohio, currently as a frugal college student as a result of my wanderlust. However, I am filled with happiness and purpose, which counts for a lot more than money.