Ely Kadish - Ecuador

July 10, 2012

Life places many questions before us, shaping and molding our way of thinking and acting. Some question the “why” and others question the “how” but in the end the “so what!” is all that really matters. In the end, a life is not measured by the atoms or the bonds but by the path and memories one creates. To me, the “so what”, is passion; life would be nothing without passion. The passions one possesses are like the mortar of a collage; they take seemingly random and independent pieces and mold them together into something beautiful. They are more than one’s hobby, pastime, or major; they are the feelings and actions that set you free. My passion is adventure; it liberates my body and my mind, opening windows and doors in myself that I barely knew existed. This freedom is not something that can be measured by rules or scales, but by emotions. It is like standing at the edge of a cliff and jumping; the wind pushes against you but you do not fear falling because it gives you the strength to fly. My passion for adventure is what led me here today, preparing to embark on an amazing voyage as an Ecuador Fellow of the 2013 class of Global Citizen Year. I have always loved to travel; from the moment you step on to the plane you are creating an adventure, an experience that will change how you think, act and live.

I grew up in the small town of Croton, on the Hudson River North of New York City, where not much happens, so I have had to find adventure in other places. My parents, who are infected with the travel bug, agreed to help me on my journey. I have traveled to many beautiful places and I believe that this has made my passion for adventure even stronger. As a child I loved the water, always spending most of the time underneath it, much to my mother’s dismay. Underwater, the pool, river or ocean is not an addition to the world I am part of, but a world of its own, separated from the land. I like to believe my expeditions underwater were my first experiences as a Global Citizen; and ever since then I have been looking for new worlds to explore. My exploits in other countries taught me the amazing impact of a smile and the value in a handshake. It is because of these lessons that I want to take a bridge year and improve myself as a Global Citizen. My passion for adventure took hold from my love of traveling, my enjoyment of Latin culture and language, and my desire to do something different; and molded them together into a beautiful collage; that is the foundation of my Global Citizen Year.

Ely Kadish