The world calls to me, in my dreams, in my every waking moment. It calls for me to come.
~ Deb Zulawski, Reel Wanderer
The World Calls To Me
It wasn't until I was in my forties that I really started to travel internationally. Back in my twenties, I had taken a short Caribbean cruise with a friend and had the opportunity to stop at the island of Cozumel and took a tour see the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatán Peninsula. It gave me a taste of life outside of the United States and the experience of being in another culture. I loved it. I was hooked! But at that time I was working for a small advertising agency and money for travel was not fluid to say the least.
Then came my forties. I had left a good job to return to school to get my Masters and during that time I was surrounded by other students, many of who had traveled the world. I heard stories and experiences and thought to myself, 'Boy, look at all I am missing.'
I picked up a used backpack at a garage sale, bought a plane ticket, and during winter break I headed to India to experience a different culture and to well, find myself.
Everyone I knew and those who had been to India questioned my decision to make my first solo international trip to India. But I went and I experienced and I learned and I grew. Some of it was good and some not so good, but it forever imprinted on me a love for travel, a respect for other cultures, and the desire to see and experience as much of the world as I could.
Since that trip to India, and I will write more about that at some point, I have made travel a priority. I have traveled a good bit of Central and South America. I lived in the Peruvian Amazon and taught school in Guatemala, which both provided me experience well beyond a vacation. I touched the lives of the locals and my life was forever changed because of that.
In Peru, Machu Picchu and all its mysteries captured my imagination, the northern desert region educated me on ancient pottery making techniques, and flying over the Nazca Lines to the south, circling and circling in a tiny plane, left me white as a ghost.
The Amazon taught me about life, what is important and what is not. The friends I made there will be forever in my heart. Memories include a monkey I named Ricky Martin, dancing on New Year's Eve on the streets of Iquitos in the rain until the sun rose, searching for yellow underwear, and trying to get home in my old beater of a Volkswagen bug in the middle of demonstrations with fires, nails and broken bottles on the roads and groups of angry workers. Now, that is a night to remember!
Oh, and then there was that giant spider, the size of a dinner plate, in the Maharaja's Game reserve. Yikes.
'My Wanderings' and this site is a work in process. Wander around and enjoy the articles, stories, blog posts, photos and videos and come back often, as there is a lot of the world yet to see and share. Enjoy!
Location when not traveling - the Pacific Northwest