As I turned right heading out of the elevator during my lunch break, I wanted to check the geolocation of my podcast listeners, which always throws me off seeing who tunes in.
Topped at number 3 on the chart, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
You’ve got to be kidding me!
I ran into my class where one of my students were preparing for an IELTS examination – completely elated and ecstatic beyond comprehension….SHOUTING AWAY!
This country, which has always been an infatuation within me, is now listening to my podcast. PEOPLE IN MONGOLIA are now listening to my podcast.
This is a country whereas their average winter low temperatures plummet to an unspeakable -40 C.
A country that’s so remarkably rich in culture; a culture preserved since the Genghis Khan era.
These are the types of unknown territories which our parents, from a very young age, would tell us NOT to go to. I remember sitting at a brunch table at Jerry’s Nugget during brunch in May of 09, breaking the news about buying a ticket to Australia and my brother erupted in furious anger, “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO AUSTRALIA?!”
At the time I didn’t know why, but then realize there was something outside the borders of America calling my name. It was freedom.
Mongolia, being one of the most remote and not-talked about countries on the globe, is my ultimate destination. If I can make visitable a word (as it’s not showing up with the red dotted lines beneath it – so perhaps it is), May-August (maybe even just June and July) are the only months I could practically visit. Snow falls at the end of September!
Another sign was listening to a 7 minute recording about the rich, cultural nature of Mongolians singing in front of a fire while teaching one of my students. This is almost unheard of around the world….countries preserving such unique cultures such as Mongolia.
The same itch of wanting to travel to Mongolia came at the hands of the second worst earthquake in the history of Japan back in the mid-1990’s. 17 years later, I visited Japan. I had a Singaporean friend 7 years ago and developed that itch of traveling there….5 years later – BOOM!
Now, this would be the biggest accomplishment in the history of my family if I can get to the capitol of Ulaanbaatar and get the visa stamp (although I don’t speak to my family); also, the message it could send to all African Americans worldwide who think small. I love experiences, and the more I have, the greater and more inspiring the story becomes.