Hi, I’m Sidney and I love to travel. Everyone has that tick – that one thing that gives you so much joy and energy and makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. The thing that sets your soul on fire. For me, this thing is traveling.
My senior year of high school, I felt lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I felt an indescribable pull to travel, to explore the bigger world outside of the microcosm that I had lived in for all of my 18 years. So I decided to take a gap year and it was without a doubt the best thing I have ever done.
That July I set off for my first gap year adventure, filled with nerves and excitement, to a town in Peru called Ollantaytambo. I was a part of a service group in which we explored the area and helped to clear land for a school in a mountain village 30 min by (very bumpy) car from our home base. I didn’t expect much from this humble little town of 2,000 people but I was struck by the incredibly abundant and warm culture and the friendliness of the people. I grew a lot in those two short weeks in Peru and was taught an important lesson before my upcoming gap year. I had been so focused on the allure of London and Paris, the cities I had been dreaming about, that I hadn’t allowed myself to explore the idea that there is just as much richness in places with a lot less glamour. Peru taught me to open my heart and eyes to the beauty in every little nook and cranny of a village or city, and motivated me to soak in as much as I could, from as many parts of the globe as I could in the coming year.
My next piece of the year took me to a 3 month residence in Grenoble France and on shorter trips to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Aix en Provence and Milan, to name a few. In each place I was humbled by the unique charm present in the city. From museums to cafes to parks and open air markets, the different ways of living in places separated by only an hour train ride, fascinated me and taught me as much about myself as it did about the place I was in. Although my year was cut short by the Corona virus, even this short stint of travel helped me to unearth layers of myself I had not previously discovered.
During the second half of my year I wanted to continue to explore but couldn’t travel and so I began to explore the world of self development with meditation and journaling. Meditation helped me to become less reactive and more self aware. Through the combination of meditation and travel I found the formula that helped me to discover my true self and find what I love to do. In addition, my meditation practice helped me to glean more from each trip by allowing me to better feel the unique energy around me and be truly in the place that I was.
I am starting this blog to create conversations about the interconnected beauty around the world and to inspire people to explore a less touristy version of travel that can truly help you to evolve into a better version of yourself and make the world feel a little bit smaller and more connected.