Since the beginning of time people have headed West. West was the magical place of adventure and a chance for a better life. My ancestors were these people, the rough adventurers that went West. Unsure of what tomorrow would bring, living in the wild and off the land.
But then these adventurers eventually settled, worked the land and became farmers. Farmers are the hardest working people out there, but the problem with farming, is it also makes it impossible to leave.
Adventures eluded a few generations until World War II, until my Grandfather fought in the South Pacific but that was an adventure that most thought best forgotten.
Then 40 years later, along came me. Growing up I spent my summers getting dirty playing outside, helping my dad build things, on my grandparents farm, biking, camping, hiking, and driving around in an old Chevrolet excursion van exploring the Midwest with my family.
I too, had it in me a thirst for adventure as well as my need for a better life. So I enlisted in the Air Force when I was 17 to support my college education.
But the first time I was ever in an airplane was en route to basic training, and I cried the entire way. So I had my doubts. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this life… But there was no going back and I survived, if not eventually thrived being away from home.
In 2006, my boyfriend talked me into going on a trip with him and another couple down to Mexico. I reluctantly got my passport as this was the first time I ever traveled internationally for leisure but we had a blast.
We explored the temples of Tulum, snorkled at Xel-ha, burnt ourselves to a crisp in the hot Mexican sun, and walked the streets at night in Playa del Carmen bartering with street vendors, listening to the music, drinking Coronas and eating ceviche.
After going to Mexico, I realized that there was a whole world waiting to be explored and a passion was lit inside me to go do it.
In 2006, after my enlistment was up fate intervened and I fell into a great job working for a rapidly growing technology company in the Pacific Northwest.
I had finally made it West!
In May 2007, I departed on my first solo vacation or should I say crazy misadventure to Greece.
Since then, my life has turned into one big adventure and I do not know if I ever see that changing. My bucket list seems never-ending, and the more I see, learn and experience, it has only made me hungry for more.
It’s what I love, so it’s what I do…