Monday, February 6, 2012

Adventurous Spirit FTW

Have you ever met someone who just exudes adventure?  They've got that sort of take-life-by-the-balls personality where one minute they're working in D.C. on a political campaign, and the next minute they're taking a year off in Belize, the next working at an orphanage in Cambodia, and the next exploring glaciers in the arcitic?  They seem to be on no one else's calendar, following no one else's plan, living by no one else's rules?

My friend B. is one of those people. 

B., Nate, me.  Jan. 25, 2012.

That's us above, after stuffing our faces full of some yummy BBQ goodness at Oakland's Everett & Jones.

Nate and I hadn't seen B. in about 7 years, not since graduating from college and leaving Seattle, and it was so nice to catch up, especially since you never really know what stories are going to come out of B.'s mouth at any given time!  He's done a roadtrip from Cairo to Cape Town, worked at a cheetah conservation organization in Namibia, studied in Cuba, South Africa, New Zealand (the same program which Nate and I met on), Guatemala and Morocco, worked in Zimbabwe and the Congo, and is preparing to embark on a PhD program during which he'll study lying.

And that's not even touching on the expat-hippies, near death experiences, and party pills.

But what's maybe the most inspiring thing about B. is his commitment to service.  He genuinely wants to make the world better and has dedicated his life to seeing that happen.  He has an incredible and contagious passion that bridges the divide between a lust for adventure and a need for social justice so beautifully.

The conversations shared with him made me realize how very much I miss travel.  I miss the unexpected and new, the adventure, the culture of it.  I miss narrow paths down winding streets, bazaars and night markets, backpacking, trains, strangers and stories.  I miss the anticipation and planning of it all.  And I miss service.  A romantic view?  Yes, definitely.  But not an inexperienced one.  Travel has always been romantic to me, even with all it's pitfalls and pick-pockets, lost luggage and tourist traps.  That's part of it, you know?  It rounds out the experience, makes it even more special.

After our talk, I found myself, like so many other times in my life, wishing for the new.  And hoping that, by not jumping out of my comfort zone this very second, I'm not watching missed opportunities pass me by.

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