'Ndagukunda' means 'I Love You' in Kinyarwandan

September 22 2016

When I was 15 or 16, I remember sitting next to my mom on a plane getting ready to take off for Texas. We were visiting family friends, just the two of us, leaving my dad and brothers behind. My mom turned to me and said, "I'm so excited! This is the first time I'm traveling without your dad or my parents."

Her comment floored me. My strong, seemingly independent, no bullshit-taking mom had never traveled on her own before?

She died when I was 17. I have no doubt that I wouldn't be the strong, independent, still working on the no bullshit-taking-thing, woman I am today without her being such a model of it herself.

As for the travel thing, I thrive on pushing myself out of my comfort zone through new experiences. I just returned from a ten day trip to Rwanda (the people are wonderful and the land is beautiful!).

Everyone should take a solo travel trip at least once in their lives. Can be domestic or international. Traveling alone makes you realize just how much you can rely on yourself.

Something I'm Working On: Being less independent and asking for help more often.

I was recently sitting in an airport, and three men sat across from me decked out in some expensive looking jewelry. As soon as they sat down, I had a feeling they were famous, but I had no clue who they were. My feeling was confirmed when people periodically would approach them, asking for photos. After taking a photo for a woman who approached the men, I asked the one closest to me, "So, uh, what do you guys do?"

He said, "We're in music..."

"Oh, music?" I responded.

"Yeah... G-Unit."

I was sitting across from 3/4 of the rap group G-Unit.

Please send me book (and travel) recommendations! Currently into sci-fi and non-fiction.

I just moved to Chicago and would love recommendations of non-touristy things to experience!

Or send me anything else you'd like!

Home is the people we let into our hearts. Places are transient.

Rachel G.
[email protected]
Chicago, Illinois

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