My friend tilts her head slightly to the left and slowly runs her fingers through her hair before she inhales a quick sharp breath and asks, “why do you like to travel?” It’s an honest, simple, and direct question. And yet, I have no idea how to respond. I shrug my shoulders, sigh, and mumble something non-committal, “it’s fun. I dunno, I just always have.” Neither of us are satisfied with answer, but for the sake of conversation we move on.
In truth, the answer is much more abstract and complicated. I like to travel because I’m insanely curious. I like the challenge of navigating between a series of geographic and cultural intersections. I like pushing my limits and expanding my own personal boundaries. I like studying maps, bus routes, floor plans, and subway systems. I like the adrenaline rush of being in a new environment, meeting new people, and seeing how other people navigate their own day-to-day lives. I like confronting my prejudices and reconciling my misconceptions. I like to travel, because the very act of traveling reveals the part of me that seems to get lost in the minutia of routine, work, and social expectations. I travel because the more I understand other people’s lives and stories, the more I feel like I’m finding my place in this world.
A Tribe of our Own was born out of this desire: to follow my curiosity and see as much of the world and it’s people as possible. In order to attain the freedom to travel for the next four months in South America, I quit my job, packed up my apartment, and said goodbye to friends and family. Admittedly a small price to pay for the chance embark on a journey with origins rooted in my dreams. I hope you will join me on this adventure through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, it will be exciting to see how this journey unfolds.