I have a friend who is known in her circle of friends as the ‘Pizza Expert’. She leads tours of ‘the best pizza’ in Brooklyn, runs races where the prize is a slice, sports a pizza costume on Halloween and has now developed a ‘pizza crawl’ around New York City. I have a feeling she’d ditch me as a friend if I admitted to not absolutely loving traditional pizza – well, now it’s out there. I know, I know – how can I be from New York and not love pizza? For that, I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you I married a guy who feels the same. And yet, over our own homemade ‘pizza’ dinner the other night, somehow we wound up comparing pizza to travel. Some things rarely make sense.
I was asked the other day if I traveled much before I met my husband. He’s Aussie. I’m American. The question came from a Kiwi. She knew that it wasn’t surprising for an Australian to love to and make time for travel, but struggled with the idea that that same love would come from an American. ‘You’re a good match’, she realized quickly.
Travel has changed me. Before travel me and after travel me are two different pieces. There’s the girl who grew up in the sheltered shadow of Long Island, NY and the one who’s slept on the edge of the Serengetti National Park in Tanzania. The first girl was scared more often, thought New York was the center of the universe and couldn’t really imagine ever feeling like a minority in the population. The second has seen a fair share of life outside of her comfort zone, tries to put fear in its place and knows what a small place she holds in the world. These are two divergent approaches to life with travel as the barrier of change in the middle. Who knew that’s what it could do. Read the rest of this entry