I’m not a teacher; I don’t shape young minds and the future of our youth. I’m also not a doctor, preforming medical miracles, taking or extending life. I’m not a fire fighter or EMT, saving lives on the front line while putting myself at risk for the well being of others. And I’m certainly not military; fighting for the everyday freedoms we take for granted.

We’ve been led to believe that travel is inherently selfish, putting our own curious desire to explore ahead of many other realities. For others, you may miss milestones or make people worry and wonder about your far-flung escapades. For yourself, it’s a never-ending balance between time, money, and responsibilities. Family, your job, loved ones, things that provide a sense of security, a shroud of comfort. But, by making travel a priority, I’m showing others that it is just as important as the rest of your “real world” priorities and that’s okay. Vacations don’t have to be ridden with guilt. You earned it, you deserved it, and yes, the world will go on without you for a week or two (a hard lesson to learn).

By writing about it, sharing my experiences, and taking you on the journey with me, it’s not just about personal growth, fulfillment or betterment. As cheesy as it may sound, I view travel as a position of spiritual leadership (in a purely non-religious sense), urging you not to settle, opening your eyes to the world, and pushing you to see it for yourself. My job is to make you recognize that there’s so much more out there.

I am a teacher; I bring history books to life. While I may not be physically aiding you or prescribing relief, mentally, I am helping you be the best version of yourself and find balance. Reenergize and find what motivates you. While I’m not defending our country, I am most certainly an ambassador of it, trying to crush every negative stereotype the world throws at us. Travel is a combination of all of these roles. It’s enlightenment. It makes us lifelong learners.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now, that’s okay. Sure, it’s selfish in the sense that I travel for myself to go places I want to go and to do things I want to do with a pull and a desire so strong it seems almost unavoidable. But I write about it for you. If just one of my pictures motivates you to plan a trip or brings awareness to a new idea, country or culture, I consider that a win. I’m blindly feeling my way through the world so you don’t have to. Learn from my mistakes, let me show you how to save money, avoid headaches and guide you in the right direction. It’s not a lifestyle for everyone, but in the end, if we all view being a global citizen as a job, we’ll all be better people for it.