Traveler or Tourist: Inspiration for Gallivantology

I bet your deep in thought wondering why I'm writing this pretentious travel blog. Why in the world would I devote so much time to writing a run-in-the-mill diary about my travels? What's the point of all this gibberish?

Oh no, that's not what your wondering... well this just got awkward.

I've spent twenty years on this earth. Actually I've spent twenty and a half breathtaking, marvelous years on this earth. I've been dealt a stunning hand in life. Unfortunately, I've felt that I was sleep walking through a vast majority of them. My motto was always, "What can be done today, can be done tomorrow." That couldn't be more from the truth! In 2008, I graduated eighth grade and my parents blessed our family with an extravagant trip out west. We spent hours driving through desolate, awe-inspiring scenery in South Dakota and Wyoming. How lucky was I? Dumb question, I was ridiculously fortunate. Too bad I spent more than half the trip with my face buried in a video game.

Ahhhhh, no you didn't Jared!? Yes... I did.

I've come to learn that what can be done today, can't be done tomorrow. You can't walk up under Mt. Rushmore tomorrow or stand in the same place Steven Spielberg shot "Close Encounters" whenever you want. I hate for this post to become overly sappy and excessively philosophical but bear with me. A vast majority of my life, I have spent it as a tourist, a wallflower, soaking up every experience that has crossed my path. I half-assed countless indispensable opportunities as if they would magically last forever. I've soaked up each and every monumental episode of my life as if I were a sponge. Yes, I experienced a lot in my time but did I ACTUALLY experience it or was I on autopilot? 

I did say bear with as I am by no means the second coming of Socrates, Aristotle or even that random guy in Colorado high of his ass assessing the magnitude of our night sky. Anyway, let me continue...

Drum roll please... Que Steve McDonald!

Who is Steve McDonald? Well, he has nothing to do with that godforsaken American food chain and he's not that famous European soap opera character from the 80's who I had no idea existed until I googled "Steve McDonald". The real Steve McDonald is an immensely stupidious 20-something year old who donned a backpack a few years ago and trekked across southeast Asia in search for adventure and something meaningful. I had the privilege to speak to Steve a year ago before he evidently and abruptly put down his backpack and cut the chord on his life changing blog.

If there's one thing he taught me in the few semi-occasional email chats we shared, it was to be a traveler in life. It was to forge a meaning from every opportunity that presents itself in life. If you want see Australia and try to out jump a kangaroo, go do it! If you want to backpack across southeast Asia without the slightest plan in mind, then go do it! I've realized that a plethora of time is spent waiting for the next substantial event when the moment for adventure is now.

I went off on a tangent and I may not have made one bit of sense. What I was trying to get to was, the point of this blog is so I can recollect and paint a picture of my participation each day in an attempt to be more like Steve, a traveler. Someone who did not waste single second while he was gallivanting through what CNN would call, "The Most Dangerous Places on Earth."

Hope all is well Steve.