Often times, when the phrase “fearless travel” is used, it is in reference to going to physical places where the average tourist doesn’t go. However, I think of it a bit differently. Being asked to be a part of a Traveling Mom campaign has given me the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts. For me, fearless travel is more about going places that push you out of your mental comfort zones. Personally, the most fearless travel of my life so far was the trip that brought me to NYC almost twenty years ago.
Originally, I’m from Newport News, Virginia. Contrary to my Northern friends ideas it’s neither the town from the Newport News clothing catalogue nor a small “country” town where I tended cows and goats. It is small in comparison to New York City though. My origins didn’t matter when I decided that I wanted to come to New York for college…although I didn’t know anyone up here. I ended up applying to Columbia for two reasons…it was in New York and it didn’t have a math requirement. (After Calculus in high school, I was done with math.) I actually applied after the deadline, but fortunately for me, the applications had a printing delay that year so I was able to squeeze in. I was just meant to be in NYC!
Once I was accepted to Columbia, reality hit. I didn’t have enough money to attend the college. I attempted to mortgage my father’s house (without his consent…but that’s another story) and brokered a last-minute negotiation with the Dean of Columbia at the time. I remember tearfully telling Dean Greenberg, “I just have to be there!” during a phone conversation. (Oh my goodness, I was such a drama queen in my early years.) It worked though… and I was on my way to New York City.
I was determined that I would make it in New York City, so I came. I had less than $20 in my pocket (really!) but I had a plan. I knew that I wouldn’t need food, because I was on the school meal plan. I just needed to find a job within walking distance that paid cash the first week that I arrived. So, I did…babysitting a local child around my schedule of classes. Then, of course everything else worked itself out. My family was able to send me some extra cash and some wonderful doors just kept opening. However, if I would have never taken the initial trip, I would have never been in the city that I love so much. Fearless travel definitely has its rewards… and they aren’t just for the physically daring. (I like my bones intact. You definitely won’t see me jumping off or out of anything like that. I’ll leave those types of physically daring adventures to fearless travelers of the other kind!)
As part of this Traveling Mom campaign, we will be discussing fearless and inspirational travel at a Twitter party on Monday, June 6th. It will be taking place from 9pm – 10pm. You can RSVP to join in the chat (where you can win a variety of Sony prizes including DVDs of the first season of The Big C) on this Traveling Mom post. The talk will be sponsored by Sony’s Showtime television show, The Big C. (In the show, Laura Linney stars as an inspiring mom who doesn’t let a cancer diagnosis keep her from living her life to the fullest.) Take a peek:
In any event, I hope to “see” you at Monday’s chat!