Bonjour et bienvenue ! Hello and welcome! I’m so happy that you have found your way to the very post on Tyler MacIntyre, a blog celebrating travel, world cultures, and language. Given that this is the first post from this new blog, I wanted to introduce myself.
I am so proud to be Scottish-American. My father met my mother in a small town in Scotland in the 80s. Next thing they knew they had fallen in love, got married, and moved to America together. It absolutely blows my mind that at my age, my mother was moving across an ocean. Her life changed in an instant and she took it all in her stride. I’m so thankful that my mother raised my brother and I to appreciate those of other cultures, always sharing traditions, food, and culture from Scotland.
Growing up, I always wanted to travel the world. My father spent 20 years in the US Navy and would send postcards from around the world. I remember getting postcards from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I would ask him about Venice, Italy or Nice, France.
As I got older, this fascination with other countries, their cultures, and languages never left me. I spent my days researching the dynasties of China, the Empire of Japan, the French Revolution, the royalty of the United Kingdom, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Many people that grew up where I did will never leave the state. I have met people that have legitimately never left my home county. Ever. Not even to grocery shop. I never wanted that to become my life.
In university, I studied political science. I took courses in comparative politics, international relations, terrorism, and Afghani politics, among others. I was bound and determined, at one point, that I was going to get a Master’s degree in International Relations. I even tossed around the idea of entering the Foreign Service and working in our nation’s embassies. You know the saying “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”? Well, my dreams were so big that I got scared and shut them down. I ended up concentrating on American politics and got a Master’s of Public Administration. I’m grateful to have a career in my field, but this passion for the world, its cultures, and its languages never left me.
I have recently felt stuck. I am happy at home, I am happy with those around me, I am happy at my job, so why do I feel so stuck? Why do I feel so bored? I asked my Facebook friends what they have done when they felt this way in the past. One person’s advice stuck out. She said, “…find a passion/hobby and try to master it. Not just lightly messing around with something, but really delving in and learning deeply. That way you’re challenging yourself and growing.” Then it clicked. I didn’t feel this way in college. Sure, I had the same existential dread that everyone has after that many years in school, but I didn’t feel bored. I’ve always loved learning, but since I graduated with my Master’s, I honestly haven’t really learned much of anything. How am I supposed to feel fulfilled and not feel bored if I’m not learning and growing?
I know who I am at work, I know who I am at home and in relation to others, but I don’t know who I am to myself. I have spent so long going through the motions. I get up, I go to work, I come home, eat dinner, watch TV/read/see friends, go to bed, wash, rinse, repeat. Even the weekend is one of a few options every single week. It’s a wonder it took me so long to figure out how to break up the monotony. Once it finally clicked, I started to wonder, what do I do. Not what do I do for work, not what do I do with friends. What do I do for myself? I’m sad to say the answer was just about nothing.
I knew I needed to challenge myself, to learn something, to explore and expand my knowledge. I had given up my deep exploration of international relations, world cultures, and languages years ago, but lately the itch has come back. This is thanks, in part, to Gloria Atanmo a wonderful travel blogger that I will tell you more about in a future post. She travels full time and has such a zest for life, for learning, and for growth and exploration. I love to travel, I love the cultures of the world, I love language, and I love to write. It naturally followed that I decided to follow in her footsteps, creating a blog.
Now, I doubt that I will end up traveling full time, host retreats, speak at conferences, work with companies and travel boards, and gain tens of thousands of followers, but if I do that’s wonderful. If I don’t, that was never the goal to begin with. I just want to learn, to grow, to explore the world, and to share it all with you. This website gives me a sense of accountability, knowing that someone, anyone, is reading what I write, expecting me to continue. It gives me an outlet to express myself. Most importantly, it gives me focus, a purpose, something to work on. I’m so excited to learn, to travel, to grow and I’m so excited that you’re here with me. Allons-y.