I have a cousin who’s traveled extensively, and I’ll admit I was quite envious.
While I was rotting away at the same bars, he was exploring Central America. While I was kicking around the same streets, he was teaching English in South Korea.
While I was dying for adventure, he was living life in Istanbul. Why couldn’t I do that too? I was running out of excuses.
The initial push for me to get out of dodge was a long night of drinking and contemplating with a few close friends.
At one point , I talked my friend into using his credit card, and I woke up the next morning with a hangover and a one way ticket to Toronto.
Sometimes adventure comes your way when you least expect it. And it was becoming obvious that some adventure was what I desperately needed to ease my suffocating lifestyle.
Where I come from, there isn’t much diversity. It’s a small city, on the eastern edge of North America, hidden from the rest of the continent on a cold, windy, and isolated rock.
Many people living there are comfortable with this. They have little problem with seeing the same people, walking the same paths, working the same jobs, and drinking at the same bars.
Fear of change is very real on my island. Intolerance for different things and people is common, and it’s unlikely you’ll see any of your favourite bands strolling through (or anything else, really).
From my experience, there are two kinds of people who come from places like that; those that love it and those who don’t.
To me, seeing and doing the same things every day becomes beyond mundane. They become suffocating.
Once in awhile, a child of this little rock in the sea decides that they can’t take it anymore, and scheme their escape.
I took to the latter quickly.
On top of the broken record that is my hometown, I knew a fair amount of people who had already left. This was just fuel on the fire.
Friends went away to school, family members went on vacation while I sat at my computer scrolling through pictures of amazing places that I’ve never experienced. Things were tense, and I was on the breaking point.
The fear of leaving, which is ingrained in the social structure of my birthplace was fading, and my reasons for staying grew weaker.
My point is to look past your comfort zone, because it’s not always as comfortable as you think.
Several years later, and thousands of kilometres covered, I am still looking for the next big adventure.
I’m looking for the next place to go and looking for the way to get there. One thing is certain, I’m not looking back to that cold and windy rock in the sea.