In Chapter 14 of 21, world traveler Shaheen Wirk shares ideas on what cultivates valuing experience and adventure. For Wirk, it started with parents who prioritized cultural experience to open their children's minds to options available in life. Through his Ohio childhood, these cultural experiences, including an early abroad trip to Europe, illuminate Wirk's interests in travel and Shakespeare that ultimately take him on his own journey.
Male 1: So, I'm starting with what your sister says this afternoon and she mentioned that were kids living for adventure and the experiences evidence by where we put our time and effort. And I think a lot of that is fundamentally built in the environment of which you grew up. What the standards and the bases tat your parents set for you. You know what core did you develop in Ohio before you left for North Carolina and Duke University that you carry with you today? Male 2: one of my friends pointed out to me, he was like “you don’t actually own a lot of nice stuff”. He’s like “you have means but you don’t buy it”. And he’s like “but you won’t even hesitate to you know, go on a trip or you know, throw down money to see a band or show that you enjoy”. And he’s like “you spend your money on experiences not things”. And it's so true. I mean those are the things I value. And so where did that come from? And I would say a lot of that is my parents. You know it really is. And ever since we were kids, my dad would always take us to—he’d drag us to the theater. He’d drag us to concert halls and he would just say “you know, I'm going to culture you kids. Today is the day we’re going to culture you”. And he wasn’t into it but he was just like “you need to see it, you need ton understand it, you need to experience it”. Sort of offer yourself whether or not you're into it but do it, give it a shot you know. And he would take us on trips. He was a doctor so, he’s go different places for conferences and then he tags us along and we’d be in D.C. And his big thing was you got in a world and people will say “have you been to X?” “Have you been to Y?” “Have you seen Z?” and they will all tell you how fabulous it is. And he was like rather than you just take the word on it, id for you to be able to say “yeah it is cool” or “I don’t think anything of it”. You know, you just form your own opinion and go out a live and experience and breathe the world around you. And I think that’s really where I caught the bug. I mean I remember he sent me and my sister to Europe for like a week and a half and that’s where I fell in love with traveling. That’s where I fell in love with Shakespeare and that was not at all what he intended but that’s what happened. And so, I think that’s the impression that really growing up in Ohio has really had on me. And also, you're from Michigan. Male 1: Right. Male 2: The Midwest is a very homogenous place and I mean that in the nicest way possible. But, it's interesting to grow up in a place where you don’t necessarily—I also like I belong but I never felt like it was me. And, so, if you can’t and people are always looking for who they are and whatever and if you don’t know immediately who you are, it's at least helpful to know who you're not.