How traveling saved my life

Been wanting to share this for a while now. I was just reluctant to expose myself to the world. Everything I’m about to express and share is true. I want you all to know that I’m not a trust fund baby that travels the world.  I’m really lucky to be where I’m at. A lot of it is thanks to you all!

**warning: I’m going let my heart out on this post**

As a kid, I wasn’t much of a shoe-in for being a productive member of society. In fact, I was anti-society. My future didn’t look too bright. It looked more orange behind bars with not a lot of sunlight. Let me dive in a little deeper.

Photo of me when I was 12

When I was 8 years old, the police came into my home looking for me. A couple of friends and I messed up a person’s car we didn’t like. We left threatening mail into his mailbox saying, “we were going to destroy him next time he disrespects us.” We were young and didn’t really know better. Everybody around us was doing it. We thought messing up people’s cars was normal. By chance, the victim didn’t press any charges. So we never got any time. However, we got time out from our parents.

3 years into the future, I got in trouble again. This time, I was caught stealing iPods. (Hopefully, you all remember those.) I would steal them hoping to sell for a 100 percent profit. I was young and didn’t know any better. Wanted money and jobs were not hiring an eleven-year-old. For some reason, the victim did not press any charges. Since I gave back his iPod and accepted my mistake. That was twice, I almost got arrested at a young age.

San Francisco 

Now, this is when travel really got introduced to my life. Majority of my family lives in the New York City Area. I kept getting in trouble in California. So, my dad made sure I would get out of that environment every Christmas and summer break. He would send me to New York City to learn more about my family roots. I got to see another world that not many people who looked like me ever did. It gave me a different outlook on life. I started seeing what was important and what wasn’t. This would help me so much in high school.

new york 

A common theme with my friends I grew up with, high school is what changed everything. Everybody that I was close with as a kid started joining gangs and selling drugs. They wanted to live that thug life and be respected by everybody in our city. That was what all they knew. Our city and neighborhood, they wanted to put it on the crime map. Friends that were closed to me wanted to cause me harm because of who I grew up with. I didn’t fall into this trap because I saw another world that was not this. I was no longer apart of this self-destructive mentality anymore because my horizons were expanded, due to travel. Some of my closest childhood friends, were targets of drive-bys.  By some miracle, they are alive.  If I didn’t see another world other than the streets when I was young,  I probably would have ended up like a lot of the people I grew up with.  Many are in jail or just dangerous to be around. I had a few people close to me that died due to gun violence. For these reasons, are why I’m so passionate about traveling. It literally has changed my mindset and saved my life.


In memory of a friend that taught me to never give up. You always had some joke to say. Thank you for teaching me how to be a good-hearted person. Rest in peace Frank Serafin.  I  will never get over the fact, I’m living my life and you are not.

I have been able to start legal businesses, travel to over 30 countries and learned to enjoy the moment. Once again, thank you for all your kind deeds that you never asked for anything in return.

78 thoughts on “How traveling saved my life

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  1. As a teacher, hearing stories like this helps me have some hope for the students who seems beyond help, even in elementary school. I wish all parents could introduce travel into their kids’ lives. You should consider writing a book about your life… about how travel changed your life.

    1. Wow thank you so much! You know a substitute teacher told me the same thing during my darkest times. I wish i remember her name. She told me I should be a writer when everybody else thought I was a lost cause. Once Again it’s very humbling to get a comment like this. I hope you have an awesome weekend.

  2. Your story is one that people need, especially if they grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Goes to show that you can turn your life around and find your passion. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for this beautiful and enlightening story of you and your friend. I had family in North Hollywood for the longest time, they lived on Craner Ave. But since moved away to Arizona. What a great tribute to your friend, and living and learning from his presence in your life, he will be with you always.

    1. Thank you so much. Yeah, i want my friend to be remember for the good hearted person he was than just being a number on the yearly homicide count. Learned a lot from him. Probably wouldn’t be the person I am without his impact on my life. Been by craner ave a few times. I have a few family members living there.

    1. Thank you so much katelon. It’s been honor having your support over the years. Really lucky to have people that wanted the best for me around. Hopefully i can help others with sharing this.

      1. I’d say healthy yes….but More than that. Discovering more of the outdoors has given me a wonderful healthy way to manage stress, it’s brought more joy and happiness then I could have ever imagined, it’s introduced me to some great people, it’s taught me that I can do anything if I set my mind to it, it’s challenged me in ways I never thought possible, – I always say, nature is my church!

      2. yes, i had a similar experience while hiking. it really does relax your mind. haha i see what you men nature being your church. it does bring peace. That is awesome you found this about yourself. I hope you continue to grow more as a person when nature brings new challenges to you. 🙂 stay safe!

  4. It must have been scary being sent away from family and friends to NYC as a child. I’m glad you see it as a positive influence and you used it as an opportunity to grow. Thanks for your story and this blog.

    1. It was when I was younger. I went to aiports all over the usa as a kid with just my brother and I. the airport security tend to keep an eye on you while there and takes you around. so it wasnt that scary. thank you for reading and your support!

  5. Agree oftentimes the environment factors shape who you are so a good location is a must especially nowadays. Good on you finding yourself and love traveling like the rest of us do.

    1. yes, very true! i have an awesome family; however, where we grew up there were a lot of negative influences. it’s hard not get absorbed. Thank you once again for all your support 🙂

  6. Dear blogger,
    I admire your honesty and thank you for sharing this post. I took a lot of courage. I’m so glad you turned your life around and am sorry your friend Frank did not make it.
    I believe your life is now a positive example to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. Keep up the good work!

  7. Your story is a true inspiration to others that grew up and felt hopeless or losf. Thank you for sharing this inspirational story of yours. It gives people hope. I as a mother always try to incorporate traveling whenever my kids have breaks because I know them getting away to see other places will open up a bigger world. Keep up the great posts of your travels and life.

  8. Hello Passport Overused,

    Thank you for opening up part of your life and sharing it with us, that took some courage, and I am glad that you found something that made a positive change in your life.

    -John Jr

  9. Great entry. Indeed, travel is the great escape (as some use it for escape). I travelled or escaped, many times from a bully. Smiles , but that bully kept on following me. But I have to agree, if you can get away from the source of the violence, and if you can get yourself away from being the target –by all means do it. Keep on travelling, keep on keeping on. Merry Christmas Peace artfromperry

  10. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your experiences. I look forward to reading more. Stay safe on your travels! I’m definitely a follower!

  11. An enlightening perspective that having access to experience a different life for even a little while, consistently can bring such positive change. A thought I will store away and use. Thank you for sharing your story. I think this will impact a lot of people. Good luck to you in your travels through life.

    1. That’s is amazing! We should definitely link. Just started a tour company to show NYC. I would love to support what you are doing! Thank you so much by the way!! Hopefully more minority kids can travel more

  12. I’ve had a difficult time growing up also. Something similar but I think I needed that. Negative experiences in life teach you far more than positive because you’ve bounced back from them.
    Great Post

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