Exploring my roots!
The news I often hear about my parents’ native country, Haiti, definitely made traveling there seem like an unattainable goal. I often dreamt about what it was like, listened to stories that my parents, aunts and uncles told about that tropical paradise filled with industrious and resilient people, mangos and plantains, mountains and beaches. The closest I’d been was way on the other side of the large island of Hispaniola, to the Dominican Republic. When there, I still felt connected to my people, my roots, but knew more than ever a trip to Haiti was long overdue.
Travel & Explore
During December of 2013, the sudden death of my great-great aunt presented the opportunity to travel to the country and represent my family along with my grandmother. Dealing with other full of fear anxieties like not yet finding the perfect post-graduate opportunity, I decided to take the plunge and travel to Haiti for 2 and 1/2 weeks.
I fell so deep in love with my country, my extended family that I had never met, my different way of life that I extended my trip to be away for a full month. There was so much culture, vibrancy to take in. I was there during the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country and felt the somberness that came over the country. I witnessed first hand how strong community units worked together to accomplish goals and helped each other to survive. I got to experience new smells, tastes, outside markets, outdoor clubs, futbol games on the terrain… I also came to appreciate so much of what I have and take for granted.
Overcoming my fear!
I was scared going into this, I didn’t know what I would do for the time I was there, how I, the outsider, would be perceived. My parents and family here in the US had some trepidation about me traveling to Haiti, that most definitely didn’t help. But I couldn’t be happier I went beyond my fear and got to go on the trip of a lifetime. I didn’t leave Haiti the same person I came and for that I am beyond grateful.
So here’s to continuing to live in no fear for 2014. Take a chance to do something that you’ve wanted to but had some reservations about. Take off and don’t look back. If traveling is something that you love, go somewhere new, different, out of the box. Maybe your passion is something else, but whatever it is I encourage you to take a leap of faith into pushing the boundaries of that passion.