I’m curious. I’m an explorer.
Ever since I can remember I’ve tried to learn about, understand, and manipulate the world around me. Mine was a constant quest for knowledge. During my younger years my free time was spent reading history books and flipping through atlases. By fourth grade I had two books that came on every trip and every car ride—the Eyewitness Books series’ American Revolution and The Kingfisher Young People’s Atlas of the World. The latter of which was flipped through so much that the pages began falling out. The wider world and the stories of the people in it fascinated me.
I attribute most of my learning to work I did outside the classroom. My curiosity soon advanced from reading about economics, religion, revolution, geography to learning about the physical world around me. I explored the woods around my house and used my dad’s tools (and wood) to construct multiple bridges across the creek behind my house so as to have a quicker route to friends. Together we built forts, fires, and—much to the disdain and anger of my neighbors—damns in the creek.
Once graduating from such shenanigans I started cutting lawns, house sitting, babysitting, pet sitting—in fact I did so many jobs like that that I became known to my neighbors and friends’ parents as the kid who liked to make money and the person to call when they needed a job like that done. Whether it was cutting all my neighbors’ lawns, valeting cars in downtown Detroit at 16, or working after school and every summer at a nearby country club, when I wasn’t in school, reading, or playing sports I was working.
Then came college. Although in hindsight I now wish I would have put more thought in whether or not college would get me closer to my goals and the life I wanted—and whether it was worth the cost—I can’t completely discount it. My time there introduced me to two things. The first was living abroad; the second, strangely enough, was the philosophy of liberty and individualism. Both of these things reignited the fire of self-learning that my last years of high school and first two years of university had all but stomped out.
The explorer in me was reawakened and led me to live abroad and study language with a purpose. Studying abroad in Germany for six months reminded me of the wider world and led me to discover other ways to live abroad. This steered me towards teaching English (you should teach what you know and we know few things better than our native language) which allowed me to live in Peru for nearly two months in 2014 and then spend almost a year in Germany as a teaching assistant from 2015 to 2016.
Here I got to see many of the things I had read about and got to have adventures I never thought I would. I hiked and slept in villages in the Andes, roughed it in the rainforest, went to music festivals in Spain and Denmark, took tours of the Colosseum in German, spent a whole day wandering the British Museum, listened to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque musically duel during the call to prayer in Istanbul, para-glided over the Sacred Valley, flew across Europe for less than 30 euros (Ryan Air is magical), and now have more friends in different countries than different States.
This was all on top of having the opportunity to create value for local students and teachers. I lead classes and created and organized English workshops to better prepare the students for a world in which English is so crucial. I taught teachers at my school how to play football and baseball so they could incorporate it into their lessons, I started freelance translating and learned what it is to create value directly for paying clients, I tutored adults and students alike–really during my time abroad I got a taste for using my strengths in a productive way and learned a ton as a result.
This period of travel in the last few years has been accompanied by a lot of reading and writing about free markets, the value of individual productivity and creativity, and the beauty of how entrepreneurship ties it all together. This has led me to grasp that the way you affect positive change in the world, better understand the world, and best help others as well as yourself is through value creation—through business. This in turn has led me to Praxis and the seeking of innovate and interesting work opportunities where I can create value for myself and for the business. I’ll forever keep cultivating my explorer and curious mindset, and continuously learn and grow. My journey is just beginning and I am truly excited for the road ahead.