Ch-ch-ch changes

Exploring the world comes at a cost.

My parents will be having nightmares about my safety. My cats will have nobody to sleep with at night. My friends might turn into different people when I’m gone. I’ll be celebrating my birthday without many of the people I love. Thanksgiving? I’ll be celebrating that  North American holiday in Thailand, where the concept of giving thanks over Tofurky and mashed potatoes is foreign and strange.

Living the life the way you want to sometimes takes sacrifice, a lesson I’m learning every day.

The thing is, exploration is something I need to do. It’s in my blood I tell you! I’m distantly related to Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole. He is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage. Looking through my family history (there’s a whole book documenting birth places and such), you’ll find people born in Mauritius, Hong Kong, and more. Most of these people weren’t actually born in those places, they were actually born in the middle of the ocean on a ship and those ports were simply the closest. I’m also related to one of the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz and a Miss Universe runner-up, but that’s the beside the point.

My ancestors may have lived an interesting life, but they gave up a lot of things too. Amundsen even gave up his life (presumably), as he disappeared in 1928 during a rescue mission. I’m sure giving birth on a ship wasn’t the ideal option for my ancestors, but they did it and as a result I’m writing about them hundreds of years later.

An interesting life is often fraught with loss, heartache and great adventure. Though I probably won’t be competing with scurvy or shipwrecks, certain portions of my trips will not be all feather beds and coconut cocktails. There  Will Be Bugs (not to be mistaken with the blockbuster There Will Be Blood). Dirt and blisters and headaches and stomach bugs and sunburns, too. Say hello to home sickness, motion sickness, and maybe some decompression sickness.

Some days will suck, just like they do in everyday life, and others will be incredible. Either way, I’ll be adding a few more interesting chapters to my life.

My birth place may not be particularly exotic, but my stories can be. I may not be the next Roald Amundsen, and I have no interest in following in his footsteps (I hate the cold). I do plan on being adventurous without being reckless, and open without being naive.  I plan on using my freedom to the utmost, and not wasting a single day.

Bring on the proverbial icebergs, I’m setting sail no matter what gets in my way. That’s the way old Roald would have wanted it.

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