Everlasting Pursuit

Sevilla_1

At this point in time, I think it would be appropriate to say that travel has a massive impact on my life; past, present, and future. I have been bit by the travel bug and most of my time is spent planning my next adventure or reflecting on past adventures. Travel has consumed me like it has to so many others across the world. I want to see more, learn more, and live more, and this is more than adequately accomplished through traveling. I have passed by the idea of having 3-4 weeks of vacation a year. I want to live a life that is composed of traveling.

I don’t think that I yearn to travel because I am lost or that I am running away from my current situation. I believe that the urge to constantly travel is my personal, constant pursuit to see the good in the world in a mixed array of cultures and people. I want to see the beauty that exists in the world, not only in nature, but in human compassion. I believe that the world is stocked full of incredible people from all different backgrounds and I want to meet them. I want to understand the different ways people get through life and I want to experience their unique cultures first hand. I want to grow as a person and ultimately find a way that I can be happy while helping other people. Travel is essentially my constant pursuit of happiness.

I think that a lot of people deep down would enjoy a life built around traveling and helping people all over the world while attaining all sorts of worldly knowledge along the way. However, most people just deem this as an unrealistic path to follow. They want to begin a career and follow a very rigid, defined track that will eventually lead them through a life that they are familiar with. It is the same track that most of their family and friends are on; it is accepted and safe. That’s fine! This makes many people happy and that’s really what matters, right? However, I don’t believe that path would make me happy; I have different plans. I believe that the unrealistic path for me to follow is a career track that has me sitting at a desk for the next 40 years doing something that I am not passionate about. The uncertainty of a life lived all over the place fills me with excitement. As for my plans to accomplish this, I won’t share at this point because if there is one thing I have learned, words can be fickle but actions are resolute. I am learning to share only what I have actually accomplished (Baby steps, excitement is hard to bottle up!).

That being said, no path through life is easy; there are immense challenges any way that you slice it. No path is absolute and no one knows what their future holds. I just want to take life one step at a time and I will see where it takes me. I will try to position myself in a situation that makes me happy; after all, that’s all that we can really do. With the knowledge that I have at this point about myself, I believe that traveling will make me happy and ultimately pave the way for a life that offers daily fulfillment and happiness. So travel, I will.

The picture above is a capture taken from La Catedral de Sevilla, offering a glimpse of one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to.

 

 

 

The Wild, Wild West

New_Orleans_Bridge

“It’s the wild, wild west out there. I have seen people commit the most heinous crimes and not get prosecuted for it.”

These are the wise words that a convenience store clerk gave us upon arriving in New Orleans the Sunday before Mardi Gras. Experience was written all over his face; he did not crack a smile or even hint at the possibility of making a joke. He had seen some crazy, horrible things in his tenure as a convenience store clerk in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

New Orleans was like no other place I have visited. It is overflowing with unique culture, with clear French and Spanish influences all over the place, with some of the coolest streets and restaurants I have seen in the States. There are balconies everywhere overlooking the narrow streets, and they were all decked out in Mardi Gras decorations giving the city a very festive feel. It is such a neat city, and it is seemingly a city without rules. Anything goes! People are naked in the streets, drinking all kinds of alcohol, and throwing all sorts of things at each other (not just beads).

My friends and I were lucky enough to see the Thoth parade, which really ended up being a fight for beads and other meaningless trinkets. It was oddly the most fun we had all day. People in masks on floats would just chuck whatever they had at the crowd as hard as they possibly could, and everyone was happy about it. They threw bags of beads, bouncy balls, hats, cups, trash, and my most prized possession, rubber duckies (he now has a respectable place on my desk, he’s my co-pilot).

Canal_Street

This was our view of Canal Street and the parade. (Excuse the quality, I was not about to bring my camera to New Orleans!) If you look closely, you can see the sign for Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is as wild as it gets at all hours, but definitely don’t bring your kinds out to Bourbon Street at night (you would be surprised by the amount of parents who did not heed this advice; they quickly wised up). The street is chalk full of cool bars and very strange places that I won’t mention. Religious picketers filled the streets after dark to inform all those indulging in the local culture of the sins they were committing. It didn’t seem to stop anyone.

As you would expect, the streets were filled with all types of crazy people, but there were also a lot of normal people (like ourselves, I think) who were from far away places. Beads were a form of currency in many ways; giving someone beads was the best way to start a conversation. I met some of the nicest girls from New York City (shout out to Emma and Anna!) because I was tired of my massive hunk of beads and tried to give them all to Anna, who declined vehemently, but then we quickly became friends. Even in the most absurd places there are wonderful people everywhere, you just have to lift your eyes up from your phone to see them.

New Orleans is a wild, unique town and I truly hope it never changes so everyone who has the urge to experience it has the chance to. If you ever have the chance to go to New Orleans, or just anywhere new, say yes and embrace the experience!