By golly, I won a van!

Bear with me.

You know when you learn a new word, or see an old movie for the first time or discover an artist, and all of the sudden that new thing is everywhere? Obviously, the references were there all along — you just never paid attention.

Sometimes, this phenomenon will occur with people. Kim had been itching to “set me up” with one of her friends from Glamour, Christine. She’d been in Thailand teaching English for a few months, and was finally back in the States. She thought we’d bond…for obvious reasons. Two weeks ago, I met her. Lovely girl, free spirit, someone I admired pretty much the instant I met her. (It probably helped she had a rapport with Dan, the most awesomest Glamour photog of all time.) A few days later Christine sent Kim a link to send to me. They give you a van, you blog.

bus1.jpg

Well, I got it! It’s amazing how one person can change, or in this case, add to, your life experience so quickly. My essay, below the jump.

Why would you make a good World Nomad Ambassador? 

I think the easiest answer I can give to this question is, “I’m through being jealous.”
I spent quite a long time envying others’ travel experiences. Before I met one ex-boyfriend, he’d lived in Africa and India. While we dated, he maintained two residences: one in Los Angeles and one in New York. He wasn’t rich; he was a risk-taker.
Jealous.
The guy I met after him was English. He’d done a gap year in Australia, lived in Geneva and other cities in Europe and had just come back from a three-week jaunt to Hong Kong, Cambodia and Vietnam. Right now he’s in Turkey.
Jealous.
The girl who forwarded me the information about this site quit her job to teach English in Thailand for 6 months.
Jealous.
So, a few months ago I decided to stop being jealous of all the world travelers I’ve met and start being the one inspiring jealousy. Happily, I’ve already gotten a few green-eyed exclamations when I’ve told them about this trip.
It doesn’t mean I’m a bitch, it means I proved to myself I’ve actually got that adventurous quality I’ve always admired in others. It means I’ll do whatever it takes to see as much as I can, do as much as I can and literally, go as far as I can to fulfill that need to stray from what feels safe.
If someone says to me, “I just went on the most amazing trip to Tasmania,” well, I’ll just go do it. Maybe it’s my competitive nature, maybe it’s my thirst to see the world — whatever it is, I’m up for anything.
As a writer by trade, I couldn’t imagine doing this trip without sufficiently documenting it. I habitually put up flickr photos, I’ve started two blogs and I bought a blackberry for this trip so I can post blogs and e-mail friends. On a recent vacation to Portland, I was the one with the digital camera making movies. My one vice (at least to dedicated scrap-bookers), I will say, is my reliance on electronics – ask me to show you a printed picture from the last two years, and you’d be out of luck.
With this blog, I’d like to show those similar to me they don’t have to be jealous anymore. You can do this — you can see the world, and you can do it now. Especially for Americans, there is this notion that you have to “go to college, get a job, get married and have children.” But what about travel? What about the perspective gained by seeing how others live? It’s not important, apparently.
You take your two weeks vacation per year to ski or go to the beach. It’s not good.
So, if I can do this, alone — quit my job, freelance and hell, not crash a rental van (I saw that Lost Girls post) — then anyone can. And if I can inspire others to make that leap, it’s worth it. After hearing about my trip, a close friend of mine booked a solo vacation to Brazil for 10 days.
Why’d she finally decide to do it?
She was jealous.

One response to “By golly, I won a van!

  1. Well i see why they liked your submission, fun to read and totally jealous now of you!

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