The Answer to “What If?”

Last night, I participated in the first ever Meet, Plan, Go!  event in Philadelphia.  I connected with the founders of Zip Set Go who host the infamous Traveler’s Night In every Thursday from 3-5p on Twitter.  If you can’t get away from your desk to see the world, they’ll bring it to you.  We learned how to travel globally, on a budget, from STA Travel.  We heard from Keith and Amy Sutter who just returned from a 255 day adventure to multiple continents on the quest to discover sustainabiliy worldwide.  Our host and co-founder of The Art of Backpacking, Teresa Gotay, closed with her journey to continue her travels by doing what she loves: writing.

It was a fantastic opportunity to hear personal stories and get inspired for your next big trip.  It was a great way to network with other like-minded people in your city.  For me, it was inspiring to chat with people who are on the verge of a life-changing experience. 

We’re in an interesting time right now.  Technology has connected us in a mind-boggling way.  It’s easier than ever to get out a message, to create a movement.  And yet, the theme that came up time and time again last night is that it’s not enough to talk about the life-altering trip, the career that got away, or the investment to become an agent of change.  You have to ACT

Friends who have kids often tell me that there is never the perfect time to have children.  There is always a reason to wait, debts to be paid, and a desire for more stability before such a monumental shift.  I would echo that the same is true for travel.  In a conversation with someone last night, I honestly shared that I have traded in my nice apartment, financial stability, and urban chic lifestyle in Boston to work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life, in suburban Delaware, with no clear picture of what the future holds.  The truth: I’m happy.  I love what I do every day.  I don’t wonder, what if?

At the end of my presentation, I read an excerpt from Half the Sky.  It’s a passage from the authors, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (also my idols).

“Young people often ask us how they can help address issues like sex trafficking or international poverty.  Our first recommendation to them is to get out and see the world.”


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