Wow. I can't believe I am really doing this.
As much as blogging seems like it may be dying, I still believe that there are people out there like me who might take an interest in the lives of others. If this is you, I hope you will follow me on this journey of becoming who I aspire to be.
It seems suitable to begin my new adventure blog by describing who I am. I struggled with what I wanted to start with and how I wanted to set the tone for this whole project. I really believe that people become who they are based on a huge amount of factors, and I feel like I have literally been "becoming" this version of myself - who I have lovingly chosen to refer to as Miss P. Pan - over the course of all of my education, experiences and interactions during my life. Becoming someone is complicated, which might sound ridiculous, but it is true. You can never begin to know who you will become when you are young because there is no way of knowing what you will endure over your many years, which will end up defining who you are.
With that foreshadowing, I wanted to speak to who I am, how I became who I am, and why I think this is important.
I had a truly great childhood. I played all of the sports I was interested in, I spent most of my time outside, and I had loving and supportive parents. This is by far the most influential aspect of my young life as it inspired me to pursue all of the things I have chosen to in my adult life. Sports cultivated my personality in ways that I can't fully describe - it made me independent, competitive, a leader, and instilled in me the gratification of success. I found this most of all in my experiences as a competitive swimmer and as a competitive cheerleader. This inspired me to succeed in my studies, which laid out a path which has defined all of my post-high school life. I was very fortunate to have financial support during most of my degree, and I can never sell that short nor deny my fortune in that. HOWEVER, one very important distinction was my drive. I have never settled for average, and so I pushed myself to work during all of my available working hours and I pushed to be at the top of my classes. By the latter half of my university degree, I was working full time and I was studying full time, getting straight A's. This is not all a rosy story though, since I was also killing myself to do all of this, and that mental strife pushed me into some pretty questionable places.
I wanted all of it though, because working myself into exhaustion was also what was going to allow me to achieve my goals. I have never been traditional in the sense that I had goals to be a mother or a wife. I am not traditional in the sense that I had been working towards a specific career. I knew I wanted to be educated and I wanted to do something that was satisfying because it was meaningful, but more than that my goals have always been oriented towards seeing the world. The world is vast as is my curiosity, and I believe there are things out there which I have yet to discover which will uncover my true purpose.
I took the opportunity during my degree to study abroad. This was my first real taste of solid, grungy - and at times disorganized and scary - travel. I loved it. I fell in love with the people, the languages, the food, and above all the way it made me feel incredibly alive. I lived in Scotland for six months, backpacked for just over six weeks, and had never felt so comfortable in my own skin. I have been chasing that feeling ever since.
I have been on nineteen trips so far in 2019. I absolutely feel fortunate, but I also worked hard to be in a position where I can do that. Admittedly, I have also avoided anything that might jeopardize my feelings of freedom, but we will come back to that another time. Not all of the trips I have taken this year were long, and I can attest to the fact that none of them were posh, but they happened. I saw a ton of incredible stuff with amazing people. And I feel so fortunate. 2019 is not yet out and I have several trips still on the books before the year is done. I feel lucky to have taken part in these adventures, whether they were by plane or car, with my most favorite people in the world. But feeling lucky and happy in my life doesn't make me want to sit still, it inspires me to keep looking for more.
Coming up, I will fully be embracing Miss P. Pan and going full nomad. I will be travelling from doorstep to doorstep as a Workawayer, and I have never been so excited and yet so uniquely terrified in my life. As nervous as I may be though, I feel like I have been preparing my whole life for this experience. I need to find something in myself that I have only seen snippets of before, which is where I aspire to be Miss P. Pan. I want to spend days alone, I want to meet other travelers, and I want to immerse myself in an appreciation of life like no other again. I will be kicking off my 2020 adventure back in the Scottish highlands where I felt like myself for the first time in my entire life. An unparalleled sense of meaning, happiness and inspiration. I want to explore, and the desire is more insatiable that any desire to do anything else. That is what has driven me in my life. That is what makes me, me. That is what has made me strive to be the best version of myself - Miss P. Pan.
Relish in being young, wild, and free with me. Having no agenda, no sense of time and no reason to say no. Neverland is calling me and I have to go.
explore mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, and murchison falls plus queen elizabeth