Hey, you. I recognize you. I haven’t seen your face or know your name, but there is one dynamic characteristic that is unmissable about you – your fire. I can see it from here. The fire that is within you is bright and beautiful. We all have different flames inside of us, some are dim and dull and some are (like yours) big, beautiful, and ready to explode. What is that fire burning for, though? Well since you’re here, I have a good idea. You’re on fire for the world.
Before we really get started, I want to clarify what I mean by the “world”. I don’t just mean the physical Earth that is underneath our feet, or the great blue sky above our heads – I mean it all. Everything on this Earth. I’m in love with people, cultures, trees, rivers, mountains, cities, countries – everything. When I say that I’m passionately in love with the world, this is what I mean – I’m passionately in love with every inch of this Earth and every living thing on it.
Being in love with the world is a great task; only a select few of us get the honor. As I sit here, in my university’s library, all I can think about it is how I would love nothing more than to be somewhere. Before you dub me the queen of vagueness, let me explain. A few weeks ago in my literature class, we were talking about the idea of everywhere in the world either being a “nowhere” or a “somewhere”. A nowhere is a place that is familiar. We often forget about them because they are so second nature. A somewhere is a place you’ve never been. A place with new possibilities, friends, and adventures. Every somewhere brings a new nowhere, and that is part of the magic.
When you’re as in love with the world as we are, it can sometimes be difficult to remember all the responsibilities that we have. I constantly dream about picking up and leaving, travelling, and not coming back. I don’t just want to see new places, I want to meet new people, and learn about the world that I live in. I want to learn about new cultures outside of my Midwestern one that I know all too well. I’m rudely awakened from this dream when my roommates asked if I’ve started that research paper, or I get a text reminding me of a meeting. It’s hard for us, to be so in love with things that we can’t grasp. It’s heartbreaking, even. But at least we have each other.
When you’re as in love with the world as we are, we have crazy “dream jobs”. My absolute dream job is to a freelance photographer for National Geographic. Getting paid to travel and take pictures sounds like a dream. I’m sure you have a crazy dream job as well. One that isn’t the most stable and kind of a big gamble. However, if you’re going to gamble on anyone it might as well be yourself, right? And therein lies my one problem with the idea of a dream job – why does it have to be a dream? The way I see it, someone has to take those pictures for National Geographic – so why not me? I’m constantly fine tuning my photography skills and I have a passion for it, so why not me? So the next time you think about your dream job, and you feel that fire get a little brighter I want you to do something for me – I want you to think “Why not me?”
When you’re as in love with the world as we are, it’s hard to explain to other people. When you try to tell someone that you’re so in love with the African culture, and they remind you that you’ve never been there – it’s hard. We constantly remind ourselves of all the places that we’ve never been, we don’t need other people doing that too. It’s hard for other people to get as excited as we do about all the somewheres in the world because they just don’t get it. They don’t get what it’s like to stay up until 3 am staring at a map of the world, just thinking about the possibilities. They don’t know what it’s like to google “travel quotes” and read for hours. They don’t know what it’s like to feel connected to people and places you’ve never seen. They don’t know.
Whether it’s a nowhere or a somewhere, you’re always home. I’ve never gone to a new place and not had an instant connection. Whether it was with a person or a park, it always happens. We have a knack for making anywhere feel like home, and it’s a truly amazing gift.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this is where I leave you. If you ever need a travel buddy or someone to talk to who knows exactly how you feel, know that we are out there, and we will find each other. I challenge you to live for and with the world, to set others on fire for the world, and to fall more and more in love with the world every single day.