Why is it that we often search for our own limits? Are we able to always walk on the edge or do we push our own boundaries? Growing up I was very comfortable with my situation, I could stay inside the house and entertain myself for hours and hours. I could still do that, but many things have changed since then. When I started to travel around the world I knew in advance that I had to go to places out of my comfort zone at some point, but you still choose your own path. My path normally draws me back to the United States and yet I am writing this blog from a 4×4 Ford pickup truck (this is extremely challenging by the way) driving the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, not the first two countries that came to my mind a year ago. I decided to travel here three days ago since I was ‘in the neighborhood’ in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. If you would have asked me before “What about Central Asia or the Middle East?”, I probably would have said that those are not my type of countries. I love traveling in Europe, Canada, The United States, Australia, and New Zealand, but they are all considered ‘Western’ and there is so much more to see in our beautiful world. Can we even say we have a ‘type’ of country that we like the most if we haven’t seen all others? All we know about countries of the beaten path is the information we receive from media. The stories and experiences of the few travelers who went are much different. We are blinded by the opinions of others. One year ago I never would have thought that I would go spent a week in a train surviving on noodles and oatmeal from Moscow to Beijing, spending more time with complete strangers than with people I know, stranding on airports all over the globe hoping that my bag wouldn’t get stolen if I fell asleep, wondering if the pile of rocks and the red flag meant there’s a land mine or if it just says ‘dangerous road’, crossing borders in deserted places while being intimidated by men with machine guns, and saving myself from all kinds of other interesting situations I ran into. Even if some things are out of my control I did choose my path, I chose to cross borders, I like to push my own boundaries, and experience new things, cultures, landscapes, cuisines, and perspective. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!” Sometimes I wonder if it’s safe what I am doing, but then I think “Do I prefer safety over my wanderlust?” I rather live my life on the edge, doing everything I ever dreamt of, and be free, then that I look back at my life thinking “I wish I did it”. We can’t turn back time. We are given the time that we live by today.
Here and now, that is what really matters.