“Travel is not reward for working. It’s education for living.” ~ Unknown
I believe that life is a learning process.
One of the great ironies of life is that you don’t fully enjoy the schooling system until you’re older. I didn’t like school until college. Now, I love learning, and wouldn’t mind going back. My Environmental Design degree from MICA allowed me a lot of room to build my own curriculum, and I only took classes that I was interested in. My courses throughout college incorporated cultural, arts, and design based classes, which would prepare me for my future in ways I never could’ve expected at the time. Since then I’ve spent a lot of my journeys exploring places and cultures, buildings and artwork that I’d learned about in school, gaining hands-on experience that no book could ever give me. Travel quenches my thirst to learn by bringing experiences to the table that enhance personal growth…and I can’t get enough.
I believe that food is meant to be explored.
I’ve always been a fairly unusual eater. As a child I hated pizza and hot dogs, but carried octopus in my lunchbox. The first time I had lobster I was five years old, in Maine…I requested it for breakfast the next morning. I still love lobster – if I had to choose one food to eat every day for the rest of my life that would probably be it. When I first harvested and ate snails in Sicily I was 10 years old. In Sweden, at 23, I tried reindeer; and missed out on trying bear in Finland because the restaurant was closing when I arrived. In recent years I’ve tried sea urchin in New York, pane con milza (spleen sandwich) in Sicily, and cuy and anticucho (guinea pig and beef heart) in Peru. I’ve really wanted to try porcupine for some time because, c’mon, think about it, it’s gotta be good…it couldn’t have evolved to have that much protection for no reason. I like to say I’d try anything once, but I’m pretty sure I draw the line at duck fetus.
I believe that smiles should be shared.
I like meeting new people…I’m curious about life in other places…and a smile is the best introduction one could make. When you smile an amazing thing happens, others reflect it back, and a channel for conversation is opened (even with a language barrier).
I believe that travel is conductive to open-mindedness and change.
I’ve never been one to go somewhere new and proclaim myself too good to accept their standard of living or their traditions. Travel is often about learning new systems, beliefs and ways of life. The more you travel, the more accustomed you get to these variations in lifestyle, and it becomes easier to see that people are really not all that different across the globe. Being open to societies in spite of their differences, and showing respect for their ways by taking part yourself, facilitates change in your own life and perspective. In my experience, smiling at, interacting with, and being open to learning something new from people I’ve met along the way has opened up new doors in my own world.
I believe that Kats should be curious.
If cats have 9 lives, I’m probably still working with seven of them. And, I certainly intend to use each one exploring every nook and cranny of the globe that I can – fulfilling my curiosity for the faces, places, and flavors of this extraordinary world. I’m comfortable with many styles of travel, from luxury hotels, to hostels, to trekking mountains. Really, the place is inconsequential, because as the quote goes;
“One’s destination is never a new place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”