There I was, walking back to school again. I was 19 years old and had just graduated from high school. Throughout life it had been said that good grades were needed to get somewhere. I had questioned it and prioritized partying and soccer before school, and now I stood there, not as cocky with substandard grades..
Why did it feel like everybody else had dreams, everyone had goals, and everyone knew what they wanted out of life except me? On my way home from school that day I met an old enemy who in some ways always regarded himself as a friend to me. A meeting that became a fun story - my closest friends and I still talk about that day from time to time. Who he was and why this is funny is a story for another day, but the words he said before he left was this; "Charlie! Make something of your life".
That night I couldn't' sleep. I thought about what he said, and got annoyed and angry! How can I "make something of my life" if I do not know what I want to do? I want to travel, hang out with friends and feel good, because that's my dream!! 19-year-old Charlie fetched a paper and pencil and started writing. He wrote down 50 countries he wanted to visit before he died, which later was expanded to 100. Dreams are probably the most fun when they are a bit unrealistic.
While others studied, I collected sand and garbage from the streets, worked nights in the paper printing industry, built trucks, repaired gearboxes, sold electricity, distributed sails and much more.
Not living the dream from the perspective of others, but now that I look back, it was my dream. Because all the hard work made it possible for me to travel and see the world.
I never mentioned the list to anyone, and it has been modified a couple of times over time as age, feelings and interests have changed, but I can proudly say that I'm halfway there. I have visited six continents, 51 countries and over 300 cities. Of these, there are three places I visited so many times that I classify them as my other homes. Which ones it is, I will write about someday.
I've experienced amazing trips in my life, trips with family and friends that I never want to forget. Unfortunately, that's what happens over time, you forget, and only the strongest memories remain. That's precisely why I started this page, for myself and because I never want to forget.
Maybe there's someone out there who shares my interests and dreams, and who through my stories can take that journey they've only talked about for so long.
My name is Charlie, I was born in 1985, and you usually see me with a big smile on my face. Food and laughter extend my life, and I would do just about anything for my friends and family.
My name is Charlie, and I'm following my dreams!