My Uber driver left a positive impression on me 🌏
Landing at the Charleston airport, last Wednesday afternoon, flying in from New York. My flight had been delayed by over an hour and it was now rush hour in Charleston. I was meeting my Mom for a belated Mother’s Day weekend and was eager to start our mini vacation! I suggested that I take an Uber to our hotel so she did not have to sit in the 5 o’ clock traffic.
By this time I had taken 18 flights since the beginning of the year, spending the first 3 months of 2017 in Asia and the South Pacific. I was going through the motions of getting my bag and making my way to the, now designated Uber pick up location, right outside the luggage belt doors.
Coming from New York and the craze of cabs and people on the street I was used to hauling my bag into the car myself and slunking down in the backseat. But this was Charleston, the definition of Southern Charm was with out a doubt created here. The Uber driver immediately hopped out of his car and came right up to me asking my name and reaching for my suitcase with a big smile.
I sat down in the back behind the passenger seat and immediately got on my phone to let my Mom know I was on my way. Next, I was most likely going to open my Medium app and read until we arrived at the hotel. That’s when Azikiwe “Zik” asked me where I had flown in from and to my surprise he sincerely wanted to chat and hear about me.
We started talking about traveling and the 5 countries I visited this year. He informed me that he had also been to all of those countries, I was shocked, out of everyone I met while traveling no one had been to every country I recently went to and especially not someone from the United States.
The more we talked the more I wanted to learn about him! We discussed the statistic that only 20% of U.S. citizens held passports and how we both agreed everyone should travel more. We shared similar passions of wanting to learn about more cultures and share our travel dreams with others!
Zik went on to share his travel stories with me and told me out of college he worked for AmeriCorps-NCCC where he held multiple roles over 5 years. Then he went on to work for the Peace Corps in Nicaragua in Urban Youth Development. I was amazed and in a way honored to meet someone who traveled in such a selfless way.
Zik is soon moving to Venezuela with his wife to teach. I admire his courage and intrepidness to relocate to a new country, non-the-less, one in such distress. We need more people like Zik in this world. His future students are very lucky to have him!
I was honored to have had the opportunity to talk with him and be reminded that there are impactful people all over the U.S. that are looking to bring positive energy to the world in anyway they can, whether that be working for the Peace Corps or being the #1 Uber diver in Charleston, with a great sign! (#1 in my opinion)
His enthusiasm for travel and his sincerety for our conversation made for a great start to my first trip to Charleston and a memorable Uber ride :)
To learn more about Zik & his future and past travels check out his blog! Link below.
Zik, I wish you all the best in your teaching role in Venezuela!