I spend all of the money I make on traveling.
I always have. And probably always will.
I come from a family split in half—one part well-off, the other one not. I know how to live on both ends. Growing up, we were only allowed to eat cereal at my moms house once a week because it was too expensive.
We were always last to be picked up from school; she worked hard to keep us afloat. On the other end of the spectrum was my dad who also worked hard (he came from nothing and made a whole lot of something) but lived in another country. He’d swoop us up for school breaks that we spent in different parts of the world, always at luxury hotels.
I know both sides and have learnt the value in standing on my own two legs as well as the blessing of being able to sit back and relax. I’m proud of both of my parents—they gave me the perfect upbringing by teaching me these contrasts.
They gave me a zest for life and a deep longing to explore the world.
I worked like crazy on the weekends and sold the little scooter I had so I could afford to fly to Costa Rica for the first time. I stayed at hostels. Shook cockroaches off my sheets every night. Hitchhiked to get around. I spent a year waitressing after high school making one dollar an hour.
I slept in a dive shop because I couldn’t make rent. I’ve always done things this way; save up, make friends and work my way forward. Moving to Aruba was no different; I had absolutely nothing.
No plan. No money. No regrets!
I simply trust that life will always take me where I need to be.
I travel a little bit differently now because I can. You need money to stay at luxury hotels, yes. But you don’t need much to travel. You don’t need much to walk this earth. Explore the world! Even if it’s your own country. Your home town. Your backyard. Break your routine.
Try something new. Go on an adventure.
Open your eyes and see the abundance of beauty that is all around you. Instead of seeing everything that could go wrong, focus on all the marvelous possibilities that are out there. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You’ll be ok.
Take the leap. Get out there and live!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: courtesy Rachel Brathen