I had a dream. Years ago, as I sat in a trivial English class with no windows in the entire room of my high-school, and I was instructed to write myself a letter for where I would be in 10 years. It was thoughtless work at the time. Mundane. However, I went through with the assignment and wrote myself the letter. Almost a year ago I was home in Chicago and stumbled across the letter and could not resist the temptation to open it. Inside were the dreams of a 16 year old with dreams of adventure and love. Two words that make my heart sing in this world 10 years later.
I sit here on this stormy night in Mexico City, watching and listening to the thunder outside, as rain pours above my head while sitting at the hotel bar sipping a Malbec wine. Comforts of home swim in my head with each sip of my favorite wine. I smile as I look up to the dark sky. The rain pounds above me on the window above, and I realize the 16 year old Kelly would be proud of me. As a culture, we tend to listen to society and let it dictate what life steps you should take next. Sometimes we give into pressures of what is expected of us, and don’t listen to our heart. My heart has always yearned for adventure. I knew that as a girl when I would frequently run away from home. I was curious. I hope to be curious for the rest of my life. Curiosity is what makes my heart sing. It’s why I “pin” endless quotes on Pinterest about adventure. It’s why my custom artwork vibe at my office includes the word “adventure” on it. I've taken risks this last year and strayed from what I feel society would have thought otherwise.
Adventure takes all shapes and sizes. Adventure does not have to be traveling thousands of miles to see new places. I've learned this whole heartedly these past few years as my international travels slowed from what they used to be. I've learned that adventure is a state of mind. It’s saying yes to all new experiences. It’s putting yourself in uncomfortable situations with new people. It’s a risk. Adventure is about leaving a piece of you behind in everything that you do.
I sit here on this stormy night and feel like my heart is singing. Travel mixed with adventure ignites and stirs my soul. I become a different person when I travel. I see more clearly. I see the big picture of life, something I crave and look for everyday. No, it’s not just the wine in me that speaks. It’s the free spirited little girl in me that comes out. I see myself as exactly God intended me to be when I’m in a new place, in a new culture. And you know what? It’s beautiful. My heart and soul are beautiful in these places when I travel. A girl who sometimes gets muddled when she’s in her day-to-day routine.
But here I am, in Mexico City experiencing new people, speaking in Spanish, and eating lots of tasty food. My work brought me down here on my first international work trip. Somehow I know more are in my future. The 16 year old me is cheering and clapping right now at what I've accomplished. The 16 year old girl said, “I had a dream” in the letter I wrote to myself. No, I am living that dream.