At the ripe age of eleven years old, I did not have the slightest idea of what I was getting myself into. A friend merely informed me that they were short on volunteers for an annual trip they did out to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. I asked her to sign me up. Little did I know that the seemingly insignificant decision I made in saying yes to going on a new adventure (I really knew little about) would actually lay a foundation for the years to come. It was on this trip that I caught something known in most circles as the “travel bug.”
Maybe it was the thrill of the adventure. Maybe it was the deep blue skies above the vast open desert and red rock mesas. Maybe it was the excitement of learning new traditions and cultural dos and don’ts. Maybe it was the friendships formed each time we took the two-day journey out there. Maybe it was the simplicity of being in the middle of nowhere with no cell phones, wifi, showers, or washrooms (besides a lovely outhouse) and yet being perfectly content. Whatever it was, I loved it. I went back year after year, each time growing the longing inside me to cultivate and nourish a lifestyle of adventure.
Over the years the travel bug I caught many moons ago has stuck around. I have travelled all around the world and have had the opportunity to meet some incredible people, ultimately creating and cultivating the lifestyle of adventure I dreamed about as a young girl. But sometimes I think back to the days where it all began. It was through those first trips to “Burnt Corn” that I learned how to chop down trees for firewood, herd sheep and goats, weed corn fields, mud hogans, make fried bread and Navajo “tacos”, do donuts in the dirt, throw knives, gain an appreciation for good music, and most of all love others regardless of background, race, age, gender, or language. Those things have shaped who I have become and for that I am forever grateful.
If you have caught the infamous “travel bug,” where or how did it begin? Please feel free to share any stories you may have in the comments below! 🙂