I remember vividly when I was six years old, sitting in a circle amongst my childhood peers, being asked by my first grade teacher Ms. Page, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I stood up, straightened my back and audaciously professed, “I want to be a doctor.” Though my dreams of practicing medicine might have been apocryphal considering I hardly knew what I was going to do the next day or properly put on my pants without my mother’s assistance, one thing remained true. In that very moment when I stood up, I felt limitless. I didn’t know what fear was. At six years old, I wasn’t afraid to dream.
Regrettably, that was the last time I stood on that lofty pedestal. At age twenty-three, despite being a college graduate, I hit that proverbial wall - I encountered my quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, I had a job I was mildly content with, a comfortable lifestyle that was all too predictable and no dream to speak of. For all intents and purposes, I was complacent and well… not very happy.
But I wanted to be happy. Not just happy, but over-the-top, I-want-to-leap-off-a-building type of happy. I wanted giddy. My discontent, I rationalized, stemmed from a lack of passion and love for life. Despite being fairly productive, I didn’t have either element in my life. I innately knew what I had to do. Like Ctrl+Alt+Del. I needed a reboot.
I started a list. Not just any list, but a list of goals – life goals. I postulated that if I wanted to live a passionate lifestyle and love my life, I needed to tackle it from within. I needed to explicitly address what a passionate lifestyle meant to me and it begins by intrepidly stepping outside of my cozy bubble, engaging life head on and doing what I’ve always wanted to do, despite my initial apprehensions.
This is #1 on that list. This is that story: literally flying around the world (and loving every moment of it).
Locations: (layovers) Around the world in 22 days
1st leg: Los Angeles, (London), Madrid, Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, La Spezia, Cinque Terre
2nd leg: Florence, Certaldo, Florence, Milan
Last leg: Madrid, (Beijing), Seoul, Tong Yeong, Seoul, (Beijing), Los Angeles.
*A special thanks goes out to everyone who made this trip possible and was an instrumental part of this adventure: Jimbo, Nancy, Annie, Hiroshi, Jay, friends of KJ, Rina, Songyi, and my Yobo.