(Link Fixed) The People You Meet Series: #2

NOTE: I posted this earlier. I even went to the site, outside of the app, and confirmed that it posted. The link posted on Facebook but somehow it disappeared. I guess this is what happens when you’re dealing with sketchy wi-fi & SIM Cards while traveling between countries. From now on, I’ll try to only post when I have a solid signal. Thanks for your patience!!

During my time in Paris I met a young girl from New Jersey who lives in the Caribbean and is in Paris studying at Le Cordon Bleu. She’s traveled the world and was able to give me some great recommendations for places to go and great tips on how to do it inexpensively. She’s the type of young girl that, on some level, I wished I’d been.

I often tell people that I wish I’d traveled more when I was younger, when I was still poor and didn’t have all these lofty travel standards. When you’re a poor college student, or fresh out of college and still poor, you stay wherever you can afford even if it means that you and your best friend end up in some Days Inn in downtown Charlotte, NC that looks more like a roach motel than a hotel for humans. True Story. We arrived after working a ten hour day and driving half the night from Detroit (her) and Clevelend (where she picked me up). Why? She called me at work that Monday and said,

“Teena Marie is gonna be at the Tom Joyner Sky Show in Charlotte!!! Too bad we can’t go.”

Me: “Why can’t we?”

And off we went that Thursday afternoon. Our room was awful! We napped for three hours with the lights on for fear that critters would appear if we allowed the room to go dark. We awoke and took the fastest showers ever in the barely clean bathroom then raced out the door to get in line for the show. As long and tiring as the drive was, as bad as the room was, we didn’t really care because it was about the experience and not the accommodations.

I admire the fact that this young girl has had the courage to wander around the globe chasing her dreams. I don’t regret the path I’ve chosen. However, if I had it to do over, I’d do it just a little bit differently with a lot more travel.