hi, i’m jenn and i have a confession to make. i feel more at home in faraway airports than i do in my own city. i’m more comfortable surrounded by strangers speaking foreign languages than i am when surrounded by people speaking english. i miss my friends and family when i’m not with them, but i miss the world even more when i’m not out there exploring it. i’m addicted to meeting new people and crave that connection you sometimes make with people that is only possible because you just happen to be in the same place, at the same time, and you’re both just there doing exactly what you wanted to be doing at that time. i’m always happy to arrive home, do a load of laundry and sleep in my own bed, but within days i’m antsy and restless, and constantly thinking about the next great place to go visit. yes, it’s true: i have a major case of worldwide travel FOMO. i’m beginning to think it’s incurable. and i’m okay with that, even if many of my family and friends can’t understand it.
i travelled a bit during my university years, thanks to student loans. a week in hawaii one year, a week in cuba another year, but what really made me realize that going out and exploring the world was just the most amazing thing ever was the 3 months i spent backpacking with my boyfriend from egypt to ireland one summer. it was my first real taste of independent travel, and it was a bit scary sometimes, but we figured it out on our own and often without being able to use language to communicate with the people around us. (and this during the age before smartphones no less!) wait a minute, that’s a thing in real life?! can people actually get by with hand gestures and miming? can people actually count of the kindness of strangers? YES! yes they can. it was awesome. and i was officially hooked.
fast forward a few years and now here we are. i have a great job with a schedule that allows me 2 weeks off out of every 4, based out of yellowknife, northwest territories in the canadian arctic. i know i’m lucky to have the job and schedule that i do, and i also know that nothing is forever, so i’m determined to make the most of this while i’ve got it. every trip i take makes me a little bit happier, and makes me feel a little bit more connected to this big, wide world of ours. i love the people i meet along the way, both locals and other travellers. i’ve met some awesome people that i’ve stayed friends with, even after i returned home. i’ve learned to trust myself, and my gut instincts more. i’ve learned to appreciate my life, the people in it, and the stuff i have more than i used to. most importantly, i’ve learned to ignore some of the messages we seem to constantly be bombarded by. it is entirely okay to be open to whatever happens next, you don’t need to have everything planned out, it is okay to trust strangers and believe that people are generally pretty damn good on the inside, and it’s okay to be lost. in the (paraphrased) words of henry david thoreau – not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.
so wander this world. be astounded by it. get lost. and be found.