I’ve never been outside of Jamaica. Everything I know about the world, I know through watching National Geographic, YouTube and reading. I’m twenty-three years old, and I am yet to experience all fourteen parishes in my own country. I suppose this is not a bad thing, neither is it a shocking thing; there are millions of people around the world who have never been outside of their hometown, and they’re perfectly okay with that. I am not. The way I see it, the world is meant to be explored, it’s meant to be accessible to the people who inhibit it.
At the end of this year, I hope to be in Japan. It will cost me everything to be there, but that’s okay, because at least I’ll be able to say, I didn’t stay scared all my life. At least I’ll be able to say, I did something many people are too afraid to do, something I’m of afraid of doing. I’m terrified of leaving home, leaving the familiar, but I’m itching to see the world outside of a screen or pages. I don’t believe I’m supposed to spend my life taking calls for someone’s company, I don’t believe I should sit at a desk talking about things I have no interest in. Yes, my interests include people, but it also includes life, history, culture, traditions, landscape, music, and food.
For a while, I thought I wanted to spend my life defending people, eventually I realized that I’d find no joy battling a case in a courtroom. Now I want to be a writer, the best kind, the kind who writes what she sees and feels and knows. I also want to be a teacher, the kind that travels the world teaching English and telling anyone who’s willing to listen about my beautiful little island.
I want this as much as I’ve wanted to be successful. I want this for me, and I want this for my family. Japan, the world, means everything to me, being able to see it, means more than I can ever describe or explain. I don’t know if you’ve ever wanted something so much that as you write about it, talk about it, you feel a tightness in your chest. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy Japan, or even being on a plane, I do know however, that if I never get on a plane, if I never step foot out of Jamaica, I’ll spend all my life wishing I did. And that is no way to live.
Written By DH
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