The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge Week 11

I’m way behind. Way way way behind with the challenge. It is to the point now that I feel guilty when I miss the post, and it gnaws on me. That being said, I have been grading poorly written midterms, celebrating birthdays, and minorly freaking out that the paperwork for my new life in Scotland is not yet complete. March is almost over, and I need my passport on June 5th, so the days are slowly trickling away. I’m starting to freak out and stress a bit.

But, back to the challenge. I’m supposed to be focused on the good, not the bad.

Week 11 is all about a person that inspires me. This was hard for me. I’ve spent a long time with my head buried in the sand lately, so it is hard for me to really think of who really inspires me.

There are a lot of people that would fall under this category, but I ultimately settled on a fellow gypsy soul, who not only understands the value of seeing the world, but does a pretty amazing job of writing about his adventures along the way.

Nathan and I met in 2009 when we both registered for a literature class dedicated to Mark Twain. I was working for Professor Gregg Camfield at the time as a project manager for the updating and renovating of the museum at Angle’s Camp. The class served as research assistants, and each of us was in charge of putting together a small presentation for the Mark Twain exhibit. I was in charge of keeping everything together, and for helping the museum map out how the exhibit would come together. Nathan and I got to know each other over discussions of literature, and then the poor guy got to know me even better (or at least see me in my penguin pajamas more than anyone should) when he started dating my roommate. After I graduated from UC Merced and moved to San Diego for my MA, Nathan and I would occasionally chat through Facebook, but I would not call our relationship more than a casual acquaintance.

It was actually writing that offered us a chance to reconnect. When I moved to Scotland the first time, Nathan was one of my original readers. Despite not actually seeing each other since 2009, social media and the internet has allowed us to have some interesting discussions about books, writing, and the need to travel.

After he graduated from college with a degree in Art History, he found himself in a life that was not making him happy, so he did what many of us would never have the courage to do, he quit his job and bought a one way ticket to Europe. He started a blog, and has been making money by writing and chronicling his adventures as he explores every corner of Europe. You can find his writing here: http://lifeisacamino.com/

This is the part of him that really inspires me. I spent a long time thinking that there was something wrong with me because the thing in life that made me happy was traveling. I do not know many people that love adventure and writing as much as I do, but Nathan is definitely one of them. His writing skills, honesty, and sense of adventure makes me jealous more often than not, but reaffirms my desire to travel and explore the world as much as I can.

Sadly, his adventure is about to come to an end. He will return home in May, and hopefully he continues to write and explore, and be a gypsy soul. He has inspired me to write more of my travels, and not second guess my choice to be a wanderer while I am still able.

“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest; Their’s is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.”
Robert W. Service

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