Books. It always starts with books with me doesn’t it?
But let’s face it, I’ve had a long love affair with books. I loved being read to by my sisters. I learned to read early because I wanted to read ALL the books. The library was the first place that opened my heart and mind to all the beauty, tragedy, love, and loss in a great big world.
*Madeline wore her beret at a perfect tilt*
*I was fairly convinced Mowgli wasn’t the only one of us raised by wolves*
*Paddington always got into the mischief I hoped for*
*Later I wished I could make Heathcliff smile instead of brood*
*I missed Frank and mourned Hal with Meggie Cleary in the heat of the outback*
*Making Wang Lu’s life in China easier consumed me for the entire novel*
*I’d happily have been the midwife at Saleem’s birth at exactly Midnight*
*And I always tried to guess whodunit when Agatha and John Le Carré were spinning a tale*
From a very early age, I traveled the world in books. England, South Africa, India, Australia, and on and on and on. I never in a million years believed I would one day be able to walk down the streets of Paris with my sister or go for a swim in a lake in Poland or ride a bike in Amsterdam. These things seemed like things that rich people did.
Them. Not us.
Fast forward to a dinner in a quiet Berlin restaurant. Wine is served. The fall menu is delightful. And I’m discussing favorite trips with two nice Germans named Julian. We are talking about what it means when people go places they’ve only read about. Dissecting what it would take to break open an industry that would enable people…every day regular book reading people…to go on the trip of their dreams. Discussing the pieces and parts of taking their dream to the next step.
I never intended to fall in love with this idea. I was happily building an office and continuing my life in the Payments world. But here I was, dreaming about what could be done with a talented team, an amazing idea, and some hustle.
Us. All of us.
As I began to imagine what it would mean for me to invest my days into these customers with this product along side these leaders, I started to remember some of my favorite quotes…
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”― Jack Kerouac
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”― Mark Twain
It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
So off I go…on to the next adventure. There is no map. But even if there were, I probably wouldn’t take it because I want to enjoy the journey. I leave one industry with a tip of my hat and a “thank you very much”. And I join another with all the curiosity I can bring and all the courage of my favorite adventurer…
“I have never done that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that!”
– Pippi Longstocking