When I arrived in Georgia for my most recent trip, my initial plan was to travel alone around the country. By day two, however, I quickly realized that wasn’t going to be the case. I struck up a conversation (and by that, I mean I excessively rambled) with the one other person staying in my hostel room. And as it would turn out, she would become my travel buddy for the next five weeks. Therefore, let me introduce the next installment of Awesome People: Teresa.
While Teresa may come across as quiet and reserved at first, you’ll soon realize that there is so much more to her in ways most people can’t even imagine. She never called attention to herself, but whenever she told a story of her past travels, everyone’s jaw would drop in amazement. These stories would range from hitchhiking to Petra, Jordan and sleeping in caves at the site, to taking what started as a short holiday to South America and ended up with her staying for two years, living on the side of a volcano while working at a hospital in Ecuador. It ranged from traveling through Palestine to camping out at the Mayan ruins of Tikal during the December 21, 2012 winter solstice. (Yes, she really did this.)
More than anyone I’d ever met traveling, Teresa has packed so many experiences into her life, but never once would she brag about it. She is not one for attention or luxury, and would even joke that the one place she has never been to is a five-star hotel. She even went so far to wonder if she was a boring person, living as she does. To which I can only wonder, “If she (a traveling doctor who has been all around the planet) is boring, then what am I and what are the other 7 billion people who rarely travel further than their local super market?” Teresa’s got us all topped whether she admits it or not.
Had it not been for her, my trip would have only been a small fraction as exciting as it was. She had so many ideas of what to do and see, but was still so flexible and spontaneous whenever another opportunity would arise. Because of her, I got to finally see two of Georgia’s most stunning regions, Tusheti and Lagodekhi, as well as explore so much more of Armenia. She maximized every day of the trip to the fullest, yet because of her demeanor, there was never a feeling of stress or pressure to stay with a schedule. The five weeks were exhilarating and enjoyable (even though there was a little sleep deprivation). Plus, she is someone who was really fun to share the whole experience with. And as she can verify, I never shut up about how much fun I was having.
Be like Teresa: Be part of the great experiences the world has to offer, and be humble. No need to brag when you’re too busy making the most out of life’s experience.