It’s been a little over two months since I began this travel journey and it took me to going to Totumo in Cartagena to have some sort of epiphany. I was randomly getting mud washed off of me and then it all hit me, I have so many people to thank for me being here in this exact moment. In that moment it was Maria, a woman who makes her living cleaning people from the mud pit, whom I embraced after being cleaned like it was a spiritual ritual. Before I continue I have to go back to me before this trip.

A time long long ago…

This is my mom and I the week leading up to my departure for Santiago, Chile. At that time I had never been outside the state of Florida for more than a week (sea level hombre) and while I had my plans already set to go and explore Latin America it still wasn’t a reality for me. That moment was the culmination of about 6 years of dreaming of living in a different country after my first international trip to Barcelona (2013, first international trip that wasn’t a cruise). Yes that was before the major beard days…

I arrived in Santiago wide eyed and bushy tailed ready for a new adventure. I meet my Remote Year group Uroboros and boom, they’re amazing. Everyone is 1 of 1 and each individual brings something authentic to the group. I think about my travels and a constant question arises which is “Would I be having this much fun if I were traveling to these same countries for the same amount of time solo?” As much as a like my alone time, INFP-A (heavy on the I), there are just way too many experiences you won’t have by being by yourself.

Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.)

With community comes many great things like each person having a strength that contributes to that community whether directory or indirectly. I can personally mention how grateful I am to have someone in my tramily (travel family) to help me in time of need when my old phone mysteriously grew legs and walked away and I needed someone to help me translate to get a new phone, thanks Stephanie. This post though won’t be about the community in which you currently live in and how contributions to that community pushes the entire community in a direction (decided by those in that community). This is about the communities that have preceded you, the communities of your past that have influenced your life whether directly or indirectly.

Family Matters

This is about family (doesn’t necessarily have to be blood) because without them and the lessons learned, either what to do or not to do, you’ve been influenced by them. This is all obvious stuff I know, but for some reason when I was in Cartagena enjoying my time in the sun and the mud pits I realized that damn, I in some way have hit the lottery. Not the lottery in terms of a scratch off or anything. I don't play the lottery, the odds are absolutely terrible, the history of what happens to lottery winners sometime after collecting their earnings isn't good, I'll make my money another way... like with real estate. I thought to myself, “what would any of my grandparents say to me when I first thought of living abroad for a few months?” I realized that I’m living a life that some of my ancestors may have never thought was possible and for that I’m eternally grateful. A personal mantra of mine is to make lives easier for those I can reach. I do that in my career as a software engineer and I try to do that with the people I interact with. It was because of those before me that my life is easier than it would have been without their efforts, please no generation {insert generation here} jokes.

Think about how you can help put someone in a position that would make you say “never in my wildest dreams.”