Of course I was bullied as a kid. Which ginger wasn't?
It's safe to admit that for my entire 24 years of existence, I've always been the center of attention. Both positive and negative attention -- all because of my hair color. If I wasn't being made fun of as a kid, then I had just the opposite happen, where people would come up to me and say "I love your hair color, is it real?"
Little did I know, all of this attention has given me the courage and confidence that I have today.
So then I got older. I got a degree from a great college, and then I moved to Korea to teach English because all I wanted to do was travel.
Now, after living in Asia for the past two-in-a-half years, I work as a full time traveler blogger and social media guru. I have been to 74 countries since 2012, and I have more than 150K+ combined social media followers and 80K+ monthly visitors to my blog. After years of hard work and patience, I have essentially turned my passion of travel in to a career.
Without question, I owe a big portion of my success to my fiery red hair color, and I'm damn proud of it. It has shaped my identity and has played a huge role for the person I am today.
After all, us gingers make up between 1%-2% of the world's population, and I carry a special gene that may become extinct in a few hundred years... So if that's not something to be proud of, then what is?
Here are five ways for how I've benefits from being a ginger traveler:
1. Standing Out in Crowds
This is especially true in Asia. I stand out everywhere I go, and all eyes are on me. Always.
How does this benefit me?
Well, whenever I am meeting up with a local friend in Asia, they always can spot me before I find them in public areas. Or perhaps I am at a nightclub or a music festival -- if I lose my friends, they can always find me in the sea of black-haired people!
Of course, the exact opposite is true if I happen to be traveling in Ireland or the UK. But sometimes, it's nice to actually blend into a crowd for once in my life!
2. I'm Always Remembered
Due to the obvious fact that people don't regularly meet gingers, I clearly stand out from the field. And I am always remembered.
It has happened to me countless times when "random" people come up to me and say, "Hey! I recognize you. How are you doing?"
And I'm just like, "heyyyyyy -- how do I know you again?"
3. Get Extra Vitamin D
Did you know that red heads are the only breed of humans who have the ability to generate their own vitamin D when exposed to low light conditions? We have a special gene that enables us to do this.
So take that, all of you non-gingers! Be jealous. I will take all the vitamins that I can get.
4. Awesome Ginger Festivals
Have you heard about Red Head Day in the Netherlands? It's a two-day summer festival that takes place every year in September in the Dutch city of Breda. All gingers gather on this day to celebrate life together as a redhead.
Or maybe you've been told about the first Ginger Pride Festival that will happen in the UK in 2016? It is going to be a massive event for all Gingers who are celebrating the positives that they've been blessed with.
You betcha I'll be attending both events in 2016!
5. All Ginger's Unite
If I ever feel lonely or want to make a new friend, then it's pretty damn easy. Us gingers have like an unwritten code of acknowledgement whenever we see each other.
If I walk past a fellow redhead, we both give a nod in ginger solidarity and automatically have an understanding for each other. Yay for new friends!
I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peak into my life as a ginger, and that you learned a about how I've benefited from being a red head traveler.
Please join my adventures on Instagram and Snapchat (@drewbinsky) and I promise to keep you entertained! I am planning to visit 100 countries before I am 26 years old. ☺