Life in a small rural town can be quiet, maybe even boring, but that small rural life made one Pine-Strawberry student curious to see more.
Kelsey Bregar, 31, shares her discoveries in her new blog, Curiosity Often Leads to Adventure.
“Pine-Strawberry is small and I knew there was so much more out there,” said world traveling blog writer Bregar of her childhood home. “If my town was as beautiful as it is, other towns must be incredible too, and I wanted to see them.”
Bregar moved to P-S in 1994 with me when she was 4 years old. She is my oldest daughter. She attended Pine-Strawberry Elementary and remains close to most of her classmates and some of her teachers. During middle and high school years, Bregar traveled to Mexico with the Hands Across the Border Program several times. Her interest in learning about other communities started in P-S.
“I valued that I could walk down Fossil (Creek Road) with my best friend and catch a ride from anybody because they were considered family. It made me have an appreciation for the family that comes from communities. I have a greater understanding and appreciation for communities the world over because of that.”
She finds that small town appeal, friendliness and family lives in the hearts of most rural communities no matter where they are or what language is spoken. Her tales include tuna on pizza being offered to her as the most amazing treat. Finding a closed winery and yet being welcomed in. Camping on a beach out of season and finding a caretaker willing to share coffee. And surviving a Category 5 hurricane with the help of a community who became a family.
At 19, she joined a college program where she spent six weeks studying in Urbino, Italy.
She moved to Florida to work on yachts, and sailed a yacht from Columbus, Ohio to Florida. She then moved to Puerto Rico to wrangle horses. She spent a month exploring Cuba and a year driving other world travelers to the national parks and other sights in the United States.
The now 30-year-old has spent months biking through Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, and visited Azerbaijan. She spent time in France and Spain, even wrangling horses in Croatia, and her goal is to keep going.
She knows she is fortunate to have P-S as her home base. She spent the summer bartending at THAT Brewery, while sitting out COVID and planning her next adventure.
“I’ve been able to live this life because it’s what I’ve wanted more than anything else,” she said. “Pretty much all I wanted so I made it happen. Every decision I’ve made has been to get me somewhere.”
“Somewhere” could be riding a camel in the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
“I rode a camel out of the desert through the dunes then we drove across the Sahara through oasis towns built of clay for hours until we reached one of the oldest settlements in the area,” said Bregar. “We are outside of Ouarzazate (pronounced whar-za-zat) which is basically a Hollywood city, it has a few studios and many movies and shows are filmed here. We’re in Aït Benhaddou which is where ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed.”
Her advice to the next group of kids from P-S is simple, give yourself time to figure out what you are passionate about while enjoying your community.
“I’d tell them to not worry about it so much. Sometimes finding what you want to do takes time and takes finding what you don’t want to do. And don’t let other people’s doubts affect your decisions,” she said.
The more she travels, the more people appear to be the same.
“I’ve learned that individually that we are small, and our problems are small, and I find enormous relief in that,” Bregar said. “I’ve learned that we really aren’t that different. People are people and they care for their friends and family and take pride in their roots, where they come from and the land they live. I’ve learned that people love to share their culture and show outsiders what their life is like. I’ve learned for the most part people are good.”
To keep up with this world traveler, follow her blog Curiosity Often Leads to Adventure at http://curiosityoftenleadstoadventure.com/, on Instagram at curiosityoftenleadstoadventure or Facebook at Kelsey Leigh Bregar.