Letter to Myself

Dear Jennifer,

For the past twenty years, you’ve seen travel as something far from your reach. A luxury. Something that only rich people can afford.

You’ve been told not to travel. Not only by your parents, your friends, and the media but also by yourself.  

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When you accepted your internship in Argentina you felt guilty. You felt guilty because traveling meant you would not attend your sister Stephanie’s elementary school graduation or Diana’s high school graduation. It meant you would not spend your parents’ birthday with them. It meant that you would miss out on spending time with your friends in New York. It was either you or them. And, your decision felt wrong but you did right. You’re not meant to stay in one corner of the world for the rest of your life. You are meant to explore. You love adventure. But, you love learning the most. Learning about cultures. Languages. Customs. Religions. People. And, remember what Travis Rice said, “experiencing the world through second hand information isn’t enough. If you want authenticity, we have to initiative it.”

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Jennifer, break the rules. Live. Don’t wait for retirement to travel. Do it while you’re young. Things will only become more complicated as you age. Use time and money wisely. Invest in experiences that you will take to the grave, not things.

Before you choose to get married, buy a house, or have a baby – travel. Maybe, you’ll discover that after all you don’t really want any of the other three.

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Jump out of an airplane. Yes, jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane. Feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins. Go powerboating. Bungee jumping. Shark diving. Hang gliding. Cliff jumping. Rock climbing. Surfing. Ziplining. Hiking. Skiing. Snowboarding. Water skiing. Kayaking. Rafting. Do it all! Do anything and everything that will push you outside of your comfort zone. Do you.

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The world is full of possibilities. Follow your bliss. Don’t make excuses of why you can’t. Find reasons of why you can.

The world is yours Jennifer. Do not let TV commercials make you think that traveling is unaffordable. Traveling does not have to be high-end vacations, resorts, or cruises. It can be something like Argentina. A place where you don’t only explore but you also give back to the community who has welcomed you with open arms.

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When you travel, make friends. Talk to locals. Volunteer. Ask questions. Get lost and find yourself over and over again. Learn the language and practice it. Oh, and don’t forget to blog. Sometimes the best memories are not always printed in pictures but written in words. Besos.

– An experienced version of yourself

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