My lovely roller derby friend Tifa Knoxhard #9999 is a dear soul embarking on a life-changing adventure. You KNOW I’m a fan of that! I got to have a no-make-up, messy-haired Skype session with my friend to badger her with questions for your enjoyment!
I just call her Knox but she has a real name, who knew! Dara told me that her family were always big into the travel-scene. By the time she was a senior in college she had already been to 23 countries! There are high school students who don’t even know that there ARE 23 different countries! Already she’s my hero.
But there’s more.
She’s had a plan in her mind since 2011 to go on a massive–Go Big or Go Home–trip. She just had to lay the groundwork first. While on a business trip in Sydney she ventured out around Australia on her own. Just to test the waters of her solo-traveling prowess. In addition she had to save up some funds and spent the last few years doing so. She said she always saved her money for traveling. Who needs things when you can have experiences instead!
Once she knew she could travel alone and she had a little cachè of funds, she knew she had the fortitude for a massive undertaking…
So she quit her job.
And bought a one way ticket to South Africa. On September 25th she caught her flight to Cape Town with an extended layover in Cairo.
Already she is cooler than ALL OF US!!
When I asked her plan: Imagine a one-shoulder shrug.
Tanzania, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo through the fall. Then spend the winter traveling through Vietnam, Philippines and then to finish the trip, Tokyo. But also any country or experience that grabs her interest along the way. She doesn’t have tickets, she doesn’t have a time-frame, she just has a budget and a sense of adventure.
God, that’s sexy!
Having such a loose, exciting plan I had to know her end game: With a 90 day work visa she’ll stay in Tokyo while she works and sets up a plan to “settle down.” Possibly San Francisco, possibly stay in Tokyo after the three months are up. The possibilities are endless for this amazing woman. Above all, she said she wants to get out of the suburbs of Jersey and experience life.
I bow to her adventure-pluck.
Lastly let’s talk about derby, because that’s how I met this goddess: I asked her what derby has done for her and she taught me another beautiful lesson. She said, “It takes a lot to be able to throw away the preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman.” For her derby shows that women can be dirty and tough and kick-ass and sweaty and ugly while being beautiful and graceful and strong. I would have to agree that this is truly beautiful. She also talked a bit about how there are so many different types of women who play with a slew of personalities but they all work together for a common goal and learn to get along despite their differences.
So follow this travel-queen on the rest of her journey at DokiDara.com
Doki, she informed, me is the Japanese onomatopoeia for a heart beat–In English we would say, thump thump– languages are fun! So the doki is the beating of her heart. Her passion.
And I think that is just beautiful.