ACROSS THE SEVEN

GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Andy Welch

Travelling Photographer and Soul Surfer

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia, United States

Current Residence: Based in Richmond, Virginia, United States

Social Media Handles: Instagram: @andyxwelch Snapchat: @andyxwelch

Interests: Photography, Surfing, Skateboarding, Design, Fitness, Music, Sports, Tattoos, Learning

Personal Website: http://www.andywelchphoto.com

BIGGER THE RISK, GREATER THE REWARD

It feels just like yesterday when I made the decision to take a break from college, leave my family and friends behind to travel the U.S. Basically homeless. It was extremely stressful and risky, but the bigger the risk, the greater the reward. What a reward it was.

I remember landing in San Diego for the first time. This was the furthest anyone in my family has been. I was the first to achieve it. What’s even better is that I went from the Atlantic and stepped foot in the Pacific. That moment is iconic to me. I always think about that day.

The travel bug bit me and the venom is still inside me. It’s extremely addictive. Much like surfing. Nowadays, I don’t really plan my travels. I give myself a month, maybe two to plan everything out. But, I do know better that plans are more just like guidelines at this point. Anything can go wrong and it almost always does. Expect the worst, hope for the best. When everything does go right, that’s what makes it everlasting. The jet lag is one of the small prices to pay. I’ll happily pay it to experience new places, new people, new stories.

A goal I have is to step foot in all seven seas before my time on this earth is done. Not many people can say that. So many people don’t leave their comfort zones. Technology is supposed to make us more connected, but I’ve noticed it’s made us more disconnected. More and more people would rather stay inside and binge watch a season on Netflix in one night. All that does for you is creates a mind numbing sedative. What good comes of it? Maybe I’ve been on the road too long.

Nordic Hot Chocolate Recipe

IT’S ALL ABOUT FORWARD MOMENTUM

I use to surround myself with hermits. They were some of the most miserable people. It never felt right with me. I always wanted to go on random road trips, hiking, or even just sit in front of the ocean for hours. A lot of those people have left my life. I’ve learned through traveling to have detachment in a loving way. Nothing is forever. Nothing is certain. If everything lasted forever we would all be bored. If it’s in the past, let it stay behind.

Traveling is a way for me to keep moving forward. To keep evolving. There are so many places out there. So many people to meet. Stories to tell and hear. Endless amounts of waves to ride. No classroom can provide that for you. Experiences are underrated. Money is overrated. Good and bad experiences can buy you happiness. Money cannot do that. I encourage everyone to travel alone. It is the most rewarding, challenging, and fun experience you will ever have. Much like surfing. It’s addictive. You just have to make the decision to get up and go. That’s all it takes. Whether if it’s getting in your car or just booking a plane ticket to somewhere random. You would be amazed how you find yourself. Your soul.

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