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#28 Kevin Jiang, Doctor / Adventurer

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28 Kevin Jiang,
Doctor / Adventurer

As a doctor, everyday for the past 7 years I have been wearing dress shoes, shiny, uncomfortable, hard, restrictive shoes. They represented feeling like I had to act a certain way, to conform and walk along a predetermined path, stopping me if I ever so chose to deviate from the norm. A symptom of who I thought I had to be or couldn’t be to succeed in my career. In a way I had trouble expressing myself in the shoes, running around placating a system, and losing a part of myself in the process.

These sandals are not that. They express a freedom from that, inspire adventure, but best of all help me feel the ground beneath me.

I’ve since rediscovered myself and for the first time in my life I am deviating from what I “should” be doing and it’s terrifying.

This summer, my wife and I built out the back of a Honda Element and zoomed off to see the world. We have been driving through Mexico and Central America ever since and it’s been an amazing and unforgettable journey.

Through these sandals, I’ve gotten lost, saved by a village, learned a new language, learned to surf, climbed mountains, dived to shipwrecks, danced atop a treehouse, and experienced a way of life that is simple and present.

My favorite part has been the new friendships we have made, sharing in the lives of families we meet, cherishing one another more through our challenges, but best of all reconnecting with ourselves.

I don’t think there will be some grand epiphany that will suddenly materialize from this trip. But, by taking this trip, however “irresponsible”, I’ve never felt more in control over my own life.

When I return, my responsibilities will be the first ones knocking. I’ll be wearing dress shoes again most likely. But I can choose to salsa rather than walk in them.

Heck, I may even wear these sandals to work one day! Pura Vida!