I met this world traveler while she and I were in college. She always had a wonderful down-to-earth spirit that made her easy to talk to and like almost immediately. I haven’t physically seen her in years (due to her travels), but I have been able to stalk keep up with her via Facebook. I’ve always heard that traveling is one of the best ways to really get to know yourself and experience life and she has done just that. Without further ado, please met Mary.
- What inspires you? What makes you feel most alive?
Happiness inspires me. Everything I do is centered around self happiness. I love to travel. When I’m navigating my way through a new city or country and experiencing the foods, culture and especially the people – that makes me feel alive and free.
- What made you decide to live in another county?
I made the decision to live abroad in 2011. I had recently graduated from Auburn at Montgomery in 2010, with my bachelor’s degree, and I was having a hard time finding a suitable job. My mentor from my 2009 South Korean study abroad program told me how I could come back and teach English and that’s exactly what I did.
- How has that (living in another country) changed your view of yourself? Has it changed how you view your past experiences?
Living abroad has taught me that I am self sufficient, a problem solver and an extrovert (at times). I mean you kind of have to be a little extroverted if you want to make it in this lifestyle. It has not changed my view of past experiences, rather it’s changed how I view things presently and I’m sure it will continue to shape my future views.
- Can you share a time when you were scared to do something you really wanted to do, did you overcome that fear, if so how? If you didn’t overcome the fear what did you learn from that experience?
I can’t really say that I have been scared to do something. Usually if I want to experience something I go out and do it. The only fear I have is that regret that I didn’t take the chance.
- Did you have a role model and if so why were you drawn to that individual?
Again, I can’t say that I did/do have a role model. The person I wanted to become like didn’t exist. One of my favorite quotes is:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson.
With that said I hope to inspire people to envision who they want to become and create their own pathways.
- What’s one lesson you’ve learned so far that you feel really impacted you?
The one lesson that I have learned is to take chances and make your own decisions. Listen to advice from family, elders and friends, but remember it’s your life to live – not anyone else’s. You will experience and learn far more than if you didn’t. My daily mantra is “Live Free”. Do what makes you happy.
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