Adam F. Barnes ’15 – Yesterday I climbed to the top of Pinchincha mountain in Quito. The summit stands at 4696m and the last few meters were quite dangerous. I scaled rocks vertically and only made it with the assistance of my friends, Kevin Bennett, Corbin Richards, Richard (England), Rob and Mike (Colorado), and Taylor and Lauren (Univ Texas Med School).
Besides the picturesque views and feeling of accomplishment, I learned something much more influential in my life … to pursue my ambitions at any cost.
Richard, 31, is an avid snowboarder and adventure enthusiast. At the beginning of this year he quit his computer marketing job in London and bought a World-flight pass and has been traveling ever since. His past and future destinations include Rio de Janeiro, the furthest point south in Argentina, coffee farms in Columbia, Panama beaches, Sydney, New Zealand, and Bangkok among others. He travels from hostel to hostel, conquering summits, enjoying rainforests, swimming in pristine lakes, and meeting people from all over the world. Unlike many people in this world Richard is chasing his dreams, despite only learning Spanish upon his arrival to South America.
Thus, I suppose from my first week in Ecuador I have realized that settling is for quitters and those who are not confident in themselves. Settling should not be an excuse for when the time isn’t right, to avoid change, or most importantly because you are scared. From Richard, I understand that pursuing what makes you happy even at the expense of disappointing those around you or demolishing what you previously thought was set in stone is an admirable journey through life.