I love to travel. I’ve been to 25 different countries, lived abroad on four different occasions, and I still can’t satiate my wanderlust.
I want to travel to all seven continents. I want to travel for the rest of my life.
I love traveling so much because it broadens the mind. It expands your perspective.
You can go through life thinking that things are just the way they are and then, bam, you travel to another place and it hits you that: things can be different. They are different.
I always knew I wanted to travel as a kid, even though I didn’t know when my opportunity would come up. It came sooner than I expected at 16-years-old, when I got to go study for a semester in Austria. Yeah, that’s right — Sound of Music, The Hills Are Alive Austria. The one without the kangaroos.
It was an incredibly cool opportunity and it’s one of those things that will always be a fun fact that I can share when introducing myself.
But — and yes, there’s a but to something as amazing as my time there — it was incredibly challenging, too.
Not only was I trying to figure out who I was as a black awkward overweight nerdy-with-glasses-and-braces teenage girl who spent too much time online, I decided to do that in a country where I didn’t speak the language and no one else came close to resembling me.
In fact, when I arrived, people assumed I was the nanny or the hired help — not the new “daughter” of my host family. I was greeted as the little black girl in German. I was not in the Bay Area anymore.
It was, up until that point, the most challenging experience I had in my life. I was drained from trying to understand complicated and precise German grammar on a daily basis. I had ongoing tensions with my host mother who seemed so cold and never seemed to understand where I was coming from, even though we both communicated very well in English. Being from California, I never lived in the snow and yet there I was, in the middle of the land of Black Diamond skiiers.
I was totally and utterly disoriented and out of my element.
And it still remains one of the absolute best things I’ve ever done in my life. It changed everything.
Ups and downs.
When people think about changing their lives and wanting to be happier, they want a quick fix.
They want the travel pictures and the amazing fun fact to drop at the party. But they don’t want the challenging parts. They don’t want the experiences that you really remember — the ones that challenge you and make you grow.
I’ll admit that I don’t ever go into anything wanting those kinds of experiences either — but in retrospect, you realize just how important they are to helping you to find a greater sense of who you are, what you want, and what you love.
When I got inspired to start Inner World Travels, I knew that it would be a metaphor for traveling — one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life — because learning about who you are, becoming aware in a world that increasingly wants to numb out, is so special and such a journey.
We’re bombarded with pressures, and shoulds, and consumerism, and goals, and everyone else’s wants that we don’t know how to distinguish our own voices. We look around wondering if this is as good as it gets and if there is more, if there really is such a thing as happier or if everyone else is just pretending. We go through the motions of life, wondering if we’ll ever really touch it or interact with it in a real and meaningful way.
It is possible. Living happily and fully does exist. There is a such thing as purpose and fulfillment.
But they can only come when we live as who we are, rather than who everyone else wants us to be.
And we can only know who we are once start asking those questions that we’ve been afraid to ask. Once we start getting aware of who we are outside of everyone else telling us who to be. Once we look within rather than without.
I created Inner World Travels as a metaphor because I think that getting to know yourself can actually be pretty fun.
We tend to make it a scary thing… we tend to want to run away because we’re scared that if we look too closely, we’ll find something we didn’t want to see or discover we’re bad, worthless, ugly, unwanted.
But it’s just our mind playing tricks on us the way it always does… trying to protect us from some great unknown when, really, looking within and becoming aware are the first steps to living a life that feels like freedom, expansion, and fulfillment.
When you travel, even if there are detours or weird experiences, they turn into your favorite stories that you share with friends.
When you travel, you have the option of going it alone or doing it with other people. It’s my hope that you know you aren’t alone on your inner journey if you don’t want to be. You can have a buddy for a daytrip or companions for the entire thing. That’s why I built this site — to be a community and a resource for you as you plan your life’s “roadtrip” to self-discovery and greater personal understanding.
New Way of Seeing the World.
Culture and Community.