The person I was 10 years ago was very different from the one I am today. Development and change are intrinsic to living and growing, but what’s happened to me over the past decade has been more than typical maturation. I’m still me, to be sure, but so many things that I thought defined me have slipped away or morphed into something different. And the primary cause of that has been travel.
In the first half of my 20th year, I was finishing up my university studies, working a decent job, involved in church life, and dating a girl I thought I might someday start a family with. I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and didn’t have too many friends from other walks of life — whether those be religious backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, etc. I was vehemently anti-immigration, anti-homosexuality, and convinced of the righteousness of the path I’d walked my entire life.
And then it all changed. My relationship torpedoed. My job evaporated. I became frustrated, angry, and exhausted. Then, in the midst of it all, I left for a study abroad program in Siena, Italy with my best friend, Brandon.