I am from Venice Beach, California. Well, I am actually from Germany, but I moved to Los Angeles with my mom when I was a year old. When I lived with my mom when I was younger, we constantly moved around Los Angeles, from Santa Monica to Hollywood to Downtown to South Central. Although we never moved out of LA, I feel like I got a sense of the world because of the diversity of the different places we moved. This exploration of LA and the people of it excited me, and I guess that is where my desire to explore stemmed from.
I don’t see the rush that people have earlier in life to get through school. I’ve heard many people, including some teachers, criticize school because it is too theoretical and doesn’t teach students to apply the knowledge they learn to real-world situations. I find some truth in that, and that’s why I want to travel before I start college. I’ve never traveled outside of the US, and I think it’s essential that I do before I start making decisions about what I want to do with my life.
I don’t understand how so many of my peers are so sure of what they want to do. They all seem to know exactly what major they are pursuing and what job they want. When people ask me what I want to major in or what I want to be, I don’t know what to say. I say that I’m undecided, but they insist I must have an idea. Well, I have absolutely no idea of what I want to do, and I’m happy keeping it that way for a while. I know I want to do something that has impact on the world, but that is possible in any field, so it really doesn’t narrow down my search. There are so many options to explore, and I have a hard time crossing out ones that I haven’t tried for myself.
I want to do so many things in my life, and I’m not in any rush. I don’t know if I will ever be able to choose one thing I want to do for the rest of my life, but I do know that I will try a wide variety of things before I even consider settling for one.
So, this is where my journey of exploration begins.
I leave you with this quote by Henry Rollins:
“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s no what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.”