October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I think it will be fitting to dedicate this blog to my biggest inspiration and a Queen Bee traveler, my mom. For as far back as I can remember, my mom has played a huge role in planning and executing a plethora of family vacations, girl’s weekends and groupie concert trips. Even when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2003, she would continue to plan exciting vacations for us. She would go to the hospital, complete her chemotherapy treatment and then we would hop on a flight to Disney World or drive up to Philly for an Edwin McCain concert. Nothing could stop her from going new places, meeting new people, or from being the center of attention because people were always drawn to her, like bees to honey.
Unfortunately, after a tough three year battle she lost her fight to breast cancer. Losing my mom at 16 forced me to grow up at a much faster rate than I had anticipated and when it came time to head off to college, I knew I wasn’t ready. I am grateful for the struggle I endured because it is the sole reason I began traveling and fell so in love with the thrill of adventure. Instead of going to the University of South Carolina, like I had initially intended, I hopped on a plan to Asia to backpack and volunteer for three months. Those three months changed my perspective on the world and myself, forcing me outside of the bubble I grew up so comfortably in. Backpacking through Asia led me to teaching English in Peru, which led me to start pursuing my undergraduate at the University of Oregon, which led me back home to Maryland.
I make it a priority now to spend time doing what I enjoy and doing it with people who bring me happiness. I learned the hard way that life is way too short, so I do everything I can to bask in the joys of life now. I also hope to touch people the way my mom did me, and inspire them to travel to places they had never imagined. Last Spring my boyfriend got on a plane for the first time without his parents and we set off for Sasquatch, a huge hippie-fest of a music festival in Washington, State. We were both pushed outside our comfort zone and we l-o-v-e-d every damn second of it.
I wish all girls the chance to inspire and be inspired, as I have. A big thanks to my crazy legend of a mother for pointing me in the right direction.