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Why I Travel?

In 2009, I became a citizen of the United States; I took an oath to bear arms if/when needed, to uphold the constitution and to well, be a good citizen.  At the time, I knew that obtaining US citizenship was important but I hadn't realized how important until I applied for a job teaching overseas.  A job I couldn't qualify for without my U.S passport. With a U.S passport, I have access.  With it, I can travel to many countries I wouldn't otherwise be able to travel to.  With it, I can obtain a work visa to work abroad in any one of the seven continents.

I am an American and with it, I have privilege.

As a proud Trinidadian, I have a great deal of affection for my home and native land.  I've come to appreciate my unique culture and heritage and even the long struggle for equality and freedom from our oppressors.  I gladly show my students the dot that is Trinidad is located eight miles east, off the coast of Venezuela…a dot on a global map; Trinidad and sister island, Tobago.

Born in poverty in the early 1980's, life was hard.  The details surrounding my upbringing was simply put, difficult.  And as I look back on those years, I realize that the poverty I see in third world countries is one that I can identify with.  It's one that I can appreciate.  I can appreciate the idea that where one starts in life doesn't negate one's end.  And so, I travel.

I travel because it's an opportunity to experience the life and rhythm of people and culture completely different to the one I've known.  It's an opportunity to experience kindness and generosity (from perfect strangers) I never knew existed.  It's an opportunity to witness how some people reduce the effects of global warming in Tokyo, Japan and the organic foods grown every which way in Clara Valley, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the simplicity of catching a fish and cooking it within minutes over an open fire in Tobago.  It's an opportunity to climb the highest mountain in Jeju, Island South Korea and view the second largest city in the world from Namsan Tower in Seoul, South Korea.

I travel because it's an opportunity many people won't have and so whether I'm traveling alone or in the company of friends or perfect strangers (who later become friends), I know that this heart of mine was made to see the world.

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