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.
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.
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.
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.