Today is Monday, June 7. Today marks the completion of Month Three of my travels.
It’s been a wild and crazy ride so far. I have journeyed to: London; Dublin and Galway, Ireland; Madrid; Valdelavilla, Spain; back to Madrid; Monfrague, Spain; Budapest; Brasov and Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Krakow; Prague; Berlin; Amsterdam; back to Madrid; Merida, Spain; Lisbon; Lagos and Faro, Portugal; San Ambrosio, Spain; and now … Rwanda. To sum up the experience thus far as amazing sells my adventure completely short. I don’t think any words can come close to the moments I have had, the people I have met, the places I have seen, the lifetime friends I have made.
And you know what?
I owe it all to the following: my parents, my blog and Twitter.
It’s funny … for years I have been searching for something … and I never knew what.
There were plenty of times in my 20s when I would talk to my mom and say: I wish I could meet people I shared something that could truly bond us.
She would always say the same thing: “D … you need to find a hobby … find like-minded people, and then the friendships, the connections, they will flourish.”
I would always fight back and tell her the only hobby I had was writing and I had no clue how I could turn that passion into a friendship with others.
I never understood … until I returned from Croatia. Then, one night, after I had realized I wanted more to my life than what I had, I was recounting my experiences in that amazing country and something happened.
I wrote it down.
More specifically, I started a blog.
It was my second attempt at a blog. The first one I started I only kept up with at irregular intervals and often struggled to get my point across … I had no direction, no idea of what I wanted to really write about.
But, this time … there was something different.
I suddenly knew I wanted to tell my story. Even if people didn’t want to read it, I wanted to write it. That night, a work night, I got up out of my bed, grabbed my laptop, and wrote my first blog post. And, started my personal Twitter page.
And, then everything fell into place. I began to meet people who liked to travel. Who liked to write. Within a few weeks, people had started to read what I had to write. They started to follow me on Twitter.
Like “Field of Dreams” and the infamous quote “If you build it, they will come,” all of the sudden people were coming, to read what I had to write.
I had found my niche.
The days I felt empty and frustrated because of my work, I simply could turn to Twitter or write, and instantly, I felt better. The new community I had took away some of my unhappy and left me feeling inspired, feeling good about who I was and the new direction I wanted to take with my life.
When I hit my lowest point, the day I finally admitted to my family and friends I was absolutely miserable in the life I was living in Atlanta, it wasn’t nearly as hard — I had my parents, a family on Twitter, an army of readers on my blog, who supported me … who told me everything would work out.
Then, it became a quest. I had to continue traveling if I wanted to continue writing. I had met so many wonderful people on-line (and you know exactly who you all are) … and then I was writing more, booking travel, quitting my job …
So, today … I want to admit this:
Mom, you were exactly right.
Find your passion, your hobby, and you will meet friends. And, since I have begun this wild and crazy adventure eight months ago, I have found exactly what it is that moves me, that lights a fire in my heart — writing and traveling.
Fortunately, there are so many people out there with the same fire, the same passion.
It is because of my parents encouragement, my blog and Twitter I have met friends I never imagined would be in my life … people whose paths crossed mine because of our love of travel and writing. It is because of my discovery of my passion/hobby (which was always in me but never truly tapped until recently) I am here today. In Rwanda. Living a life I could only have dreamed of less than a year ago.
So, thank you to the blogger community. Thank you to my Twitter family. Thank you to my parents for always pushing me to find what truly ignited my spirit. I am here today because of all of you and have never felt more blessed in my entire life.
Proost. Salud. Salude. DooSahnGeeRay.