'You can have the whole world, or be satisfied with the boulevard'

The writer in Cape Town, South Africa.

The writer in Cape Town, South Africa.

My favorite song on Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" is a song called "Flip Flop Rock." It features Big Boi, Jay Z and Killer Mike. It's a pretty epic collaboration, given the year it was released. Half way through the song, arguably the best line on the album is dropped by Killer Mike. 

"You can have the whole world, or be satisfied with the boulevard." 

When I started to travel as a hobby, I was greeted with some support and a lot of skepticism. 

"The world is so big." "The world is scary and dangerous for Black girls like you." "When are you going to settle down? What man wants to marry a woman he'll never see?"

I heard all of this and more. And, with the exception of the last comment, they're all true. 

It's easy to get comfortable and put yourself into boxes other people have created for you. It's natural for people to want to mold you into their image for you – but it can also go awry when it doesn't work.

I was determined to see the world on my terms. I traveled to three continents in two years. I started saving money for experiences, not just clothes. I backpacked through Southeast Asia. I started this blog. And I started to apply that determination not just to traveling, but to my life in D.C.

I started to define my life, for me. I've always been clear about who I am and what I stand for. Favorite raised me that way. When people who lacked those ethics went low, I went high. I wanted the whole world.

Success isn't guaranteed to any of us. Failure is. But would you rather shoot for the world and fail, or be satisfied with something lesser than and call it a success?

What I'm trying to tell you is that the world is at your fingertips. Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve. Killer Mike is right – you can have the whole world; you don't have to settle for the boulevard.

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