Monthly Archives: January 2013

open-ended

“Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

I forgot what it was like to live in this state of transition.

I re-read some of my old blog posts from the semester before I left for Singapore and I was shocked by 1) the honesty and rawness of my writing that has since disappeared from the public domain, 2) how quickly and extremely my emotions swung back and forth about my trip, and 3) how difficult my relationships were during that time of limbo.

This time it is the same, and entirely different.

I am full of guilt. It is so hard to look at the people around me and realize that I am abandoning this life in a few months. Being a teacher only intensifies the guilt.

My life no longer exists in the long-term. Values change, and choices are weighed by instant gratification.

There is judgement. My decision is far from generally accepted by society, and almost everyone likes to remind me of that with condescending questions regarding money and safety and career aspirations. The expressions of incredulous awe are almost as bad.

And there is fear. No, I don’t really know what I’m doing or what I’m looking for. Yes, I’m scared out of my mind and ill-prepared and naive and inexperienced and young and female. I am going regardless.

I also have this tiny, secret nagging thought that I’ve been outwardly downplaying: the fact that in the end, I have no idea if—or when—I’ll actually come back to Houston, Connecticut, the United States. While I knew putting my life on hold would mean change, this could actually be a turning point in a way that I’m not even aware of yet.

90 days

Limit on visa-free travel among the vast majority of European countries… meaning I may be breaking up Europe into a fall and spring visit (the 90 days resets after 180 days). This may work out better in terms of weather, anyway. Probably not in terms of my wallet, though…

Fall: Spain, Holland, Germany (Oktoberfest?) — leaving from a big airport in Germany will probably give me the best airfare to India, as well.

Spring: Italy, Budapest, Prague… where else!?

The major downside is that I’m terrified that maybe I won’t make it back to Europe in the spring, for whatever reason. The split I laid out above is purely practical in terms of geography, not in order of preference. And I am so not ready to accidentally let go of Italy.

Assuming I can guarantee two visits, I would love to throw in Portugal and Morocco in the fall since I’m so close. Maybe Bruges, because of the movie that I was highly recommended and then may or may not have fallen asleep watching. And Egypt would fit nicely in the spring.

So really, the choice is whether I want to battle time, or money.

Also, Denmark is basically the only European country that couldn’t care less about this 90 days thing (okay, and the United Kingdom–those rebels). Is that, alone, worth a visit?

So perfect

“In Chinese Astrology, the snake represents a deep, sensual philosopher…one who is graceful, mystical and dark all at the same time. 2013 will bring in the year of the water snake, signifying that you should save you [sic] pennies to fuel your greatest vision, mind your own business, meditate, be a bit weird, and indulge fully in your true hearts desire.

Be inspired by the deeply auspicious Snake who is willing to sacrifice all his possessions . . . who is capable of shedding the past – all burdens – in one full swoop, as it does with its skin. . . .

(via adbusters)

Hello, World

This is the year.

In 2013, I will quit my job, end my lease, drive all of my worldly possessions across the country for storage at my parents’ house, and travel the world.

My tentative plan is to start in late August, fly to Spain where I will walk the Camino de Santiago, explore Europe for the next few months (Italy, Holland, and Germany are definitely on the short-list… with about 15 other countries vying for the rest of my time and attention), and be settled for a long stay in India by Christmastime. For early 2014, I hope to be avoiding cold weather by heading back to Southeast Asia (shacking up in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam… at the very least), before hightailing it back to the States by July to figure out the rest of my life in time to start paying my health insurance bill again (thanks, Obama!).

I’m planning to buck the system by doing it the leisurely way–hopefully spending a month or so in each country I visit. I’m not really looking to work while I’m gone, but I’m sure there will be many, many children that I instantly fall in love with… and hopefully their parents will trust in my Texas Education Agency teaching certification and let me hang out with them for a while.

Of course, I’m sure my plans will change as I begin hitting you all up for advice, recommendations, and friends of friends (of friends… I have no shame).

But it starts now.

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