I grew up in a small town in Northern California, surrounded by a barnyard of goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, a llama, and the occasional turkey, duck, or guinea hen. We took family trips up the Oregon coast and through winding redwood forests. My dad coached my Little League softball team and we were never short of fresh fruit and veggies from my mom’s garden. This was my world.
And then I got the grand idea to move to Los Angeles for college. Its beaches, cityscapes, and nightlife dazzled me to my country core. Various twists and turns led me to a career in nonprofit marketing, where my new thrills involved crafting brand messages and attending early morning strategic planning meetings.
Since then I’ve backpacked through Thailand, got sunburned in a Singapore indie music festival, and learned how to drive in the Philippines (which is an adventure in itself.)
Still, the more I travel, the less I’ve seen.
- The more places I visit, the more I realize how little of this world I’ve actually experienced.
- The more Tagalog I learn, the more I realize how much of the language and culture I don’t understand.
- And the more I grow inside, the more I realize there is still so much room for improvement.
And with this new understanding comes a new challenge for 2013: To be bold – to collect new moments and commit to positivity and growth. To explore more of the Philippines, drive in rush hour traffic, or speak Tagalog to family, friends, office mates, sales clerks, or whoever will listen. To avoid the agonizing habit of comparing myself to others; because there will always be that person who has traveled to more countries, advanced their career further, or has a better wardrobe and more cash in the bank.
I’ve come a long way since my days of showing pigs at the county fair. Who would have guessed I’d end up in South East Asia? Take a look below at my favorite moments from 2012. You can click anywhere in the gallery for slideshow viewing.
Thanks for following Mango Mornings. I hope my stories have inspired you to try something new. Here’s to many more adventures, wherever in the world you may be!
Oh, and just for good measure: