I’ve been having a lot of fun traveling this month. There are definitely aspects of traveling I find difficult, such as maintaining my healthy eating, my training schedule, and finding time to address all of the stress that comes with bouncing from city to city.
Senegal felt like a dream. I found myself calling home and saying “Hi, I’m in Africa!” This certainly started to get on my family’s nerves, but it felt so good to say that. I think that trip, in particular, proved to me that traveling is a true love of mine.
Now, I’m back in Cleveland. I spent the first thirteen years of my life in a suburb of this somewhat underappreciated city. I get a lot of flack for supporting this place, but Cleveland is a cultural hub. My love for exploration was fed by the diverse groups of people I met as a child. The West Side Market was the platform for these interactions.
I went to the market almost every weekend. I walked past the cases with whole pigs, Mandel splinters, clothespin cookies, handmade pasta, and men kneading bread for the next day. I talked to them, asked them questions only a kid would have the guts to ask, begged them to satisfy my curiosity about their culture.
They never could. My desire to learn about the world has yet to be crushed or appeased. Instead of going to the market and asking the old Italian ladies about their hometowns, I travel to their peninsula and experience it for myself. I hope I am never able to be content with this world. There is too much to see, too many problems to solve, too many unanswered questions. It’s funny to think that I have this crazy old market to thank for my many past and future adventures.