I can say that I know without a doubt, 100% that my passion is helping others and making the world a better place. I feel incredibly strongly about issues of inequality, social injustice, education, and poverty. My heart sings when I know that I have done something or been a part of changing someone’s life for the better. But how did I first discover this passion of mine?
Through my undying love of travel. I have my family to thank for that. My dad, aunts and uncles, and grandparents either currently, or have previously worked in the airline industry. I’m not kidding when I say that when I walk into the airports of the two major cities in Alberta, the first thing said after seeing my last name is: “Oh! You must be related to so and so”. Pretty much all of my family members have an intense love for travel. It’s embarrassing, but I will admit that I actually take online geography quizzes just for the hell of it… and usually, I do a pretty good job!
Traveling truly opened my eyes to what a wonderful, beautiful, sad, fearsome, and giant world we live in. If it weren’t for all the good and hard memories I’ve made out in the world, I don’t think I would’ve ever fully grasped the magnitude of culture on this planet.
Once I started seeing the world, I began to love history, and often I would stand in various monumental places imagining the past of that setting going on all around me. At the Palace of Versailles, I imagined Marie Antoinette supposedly saying “Let them eat cake”. In Cuba, I imagined Che Guevara fighting battles for independence. Walking through Mahatma Gandhi’s home, I imagined all of the battles he was facing. I still do this whenever I go somewhere new. Don’t worry, you can call me a nerd if you want to.
In total, I’ve been to 14 countries. These are Canada, The United States, England, China, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, Mexico, Egypt, France, India, Hong Kong, Bahamas, and Cuba. You can ask me which place was my favourite, but I will never be able to tell you. I loved so many things about all of them!
Through all of my travels, I saw TONS of things, both amazing and incredibly sad. Different environmental impacts, a lot of poverty, a lot of cultures, and a lot of history. Seeing as much as I have of the world and the difference between extreme poverty and extreme opulence is what helped me discover my passion.
Finding Your Passions:
Now I know that finding your passions might not always be as easy as just stumbling across them. Life is rarely in the business of just dropping important revelations into your lap. So if you’re at a point in your life where you’re trying to find what your passions are, then I have a few tips for you:
Try new things –
If you’re unsure of what your passions are, then you never know where they might lie. So go out there and try some new things. Never been traveling before? Take a once in a lifetime trip! Have you ever tried painting or drawing before? Why not start now? Maybe you love playing a certain sport, or nature is your home away from home. If you don’t know what you love, or even really like, there’s no harm in trying out something new! Who knows what kinds of memories you might make, or stories you’ll have to tell.
Throw caution to the wind –
At the science center where I live, there is a bed of nails. You lie down flat, hold down a button, and the nails raise up beneath you. It’s scary, but also a pretty cool experience. Next to the bed of nails, is a plaque on the wall, that talks about how fear can you stop you from experiencing new things that actually don’t have much risk at all.
Never ever let fear rule your life. Fear is nothing more than a little voice, or a gut feeling, trying to hold you back. Obviously, all fear isn’t bad. It’s what stops you from jumping into a really deep pool without any knowledge of how to swim. But does that mean that you should give up on a dream of being a diver? Of course not! What it does mean is that you have to take the time to learn how to swim, before you get to diving.
Cultivate your interests –
Your passion or passions are going to be something that you love. I think that if you are truly passionate about something, that love isn’t going to go away anytime soon. If you’re passionate about something, you aren’t just merely interested in it. It is something that will set your soul on fire. So once you find something that you think you’d be passionate about, or that you just like a lot, give it some TLC. Learn everything there is to learn about that thing. Go out and experience whatever it may be, as often as you can!
Don’t give up –
I have been there many times before. There’s something that maybe scares you a little, and then things start to get harder. It ends with you giving up on whatever you’re doing rather than sticking it out. I totally get why a situation might end that way. But I’m here to tell you – STOP THAT! I’ve told myself before that it’s fine to give something up because I don’t really like the process anyway. But nothing worth having is so easily obtainable. So yeah, maybe you don’t love all of the aspects or parts of the process that you’re going through. But maybe the end product is totally worth it. How will you ever know if you give up when the going gets tough?
It’s okay to change your mind –
All that being said, it’s okay to think that maybe you’ve found something that you could really love, only to discover that… eh, you actually don’t really love it that much. That’s part of trying new things, you’ll have some pretty rad experiences, and then you’ll have some that you probably could have gone without. There’s a difference between giving something up because you’re realizing that it’s not a passion of yours – maybe you just don’t like it as much anymore – and giving something up because it’s too hard to get to the end goal.