Sunday, September 27, 2009

plano di viajar

Preliminary travel plan for Peru, just in case you were wondering...

oh eleanor!

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
~Eleanor Roosevelt

damned if i do, damned if i don't. same results. strange how the DOING seems to be more risky and terror-full.
this whole living your life thing is simply terrifying.

1.extraordinarily great or intense: terrific speed.
2.extremely good; wonderful: a terrific vacation.
3.causing terror; terrifying.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I left my heart in San Diego...

So today is the day. Goodbye San Diego.

I always knew it would be hard for me to leave, but until the day it happens, it's never real.

How can you say goodbye to a world that has become so constant and normal?

How do you choose to leave a place that has been so good to you?

I mean honestly, I LOVE it here. I love my life. I love my friends. I love the weather and the sun and the ocean. San Diego is simply beautiful and the life here is lovely. More than that, I live a good life here. I'm a young adult and loving life on my own with my young adult friends. It is San Diego that I have truly begun to grow up.

Most of all, though, I love my amazing network of friends here. It is something that I honestly don't think I'll be able to recreate and have again for a very long time. I mean, I will always have these friends because these are lifetime friends I have made, but who knows if we'll ever be in the same place at the same time again. We'll visit each other and reminisce, but it will never be the same. I think THAT is the most heartbreaking part of growing up.

Change is beautiful and exciting, but it has its crushing effects as well.

So I move on from San Diego, just as I had to move on from my life in Italy, taking all my lovely memories with me and holding on to my lasting friendships. So off I go into the unknown...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

peace of mind in galactic waves

I feel like my confidence and passion and drive for my year's plans of travel and language learning is a ride on a really loopy, curvy, crazy roller coaster. Up and down and upside down; every other day I change my mind and change back and worry that what I'm doing is stupid and then feel absolutely sure that is the best thing for me to do. Basically, I'm sure that I'm unsure which leads to some complications.

Overall, though, I guess I'm doing a good thing this year by not joining the actively job hunting unemployed?

It's kind of scary to go so against the norm when you've been traveling along a perfect pathway for all your life. But that perfect pathway has already led me to a spectacular end point. Past the end, it's all me. So I plunge into the black abyss filled with looping endless options and hope that I haven't just plunged to my destruction, but rather will someday find myself on solid ground looking up at the beautiful starry sky I successfully navigated through.

There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.~Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Friday, August 28, 2009

well, i mean, at least i have a direction, right?

so i know what i want to do. i know. i just don't know to get there. i'm afraid i'm not good enough. i'm afraid i'll get rejected and nothing will come of it.

but at least i'm sure of the path i've chosen for now.
too bad i'm scared too say it out loud.

"what do you want to do?"
me: "ohhhh, i dunno, work in nonprofit, maybe help children."

in my head i'm screaming my true dreams.

Human Rights Law
Refugee Rights
and above all, helping people, children and adults alike, achieve their human right to live happy, successful lives.

i want it so bad that i get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
oh the long road I have ahead of me...

One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.
- Emily Dickenson

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

exculpable explanations

Hello friends and family (and random stalkers). This is my blog that I will hopefully keep up well during my year of world wanderings. Though my post-grad adventures outside the U.S. don't start for another 2 months, I thought I'd start out with a little explanation blog on what I'm doing and why.

What I am doing: Not finding a permanent vocation. That's right ladies and gentlemen, after just 3 months of trying hard to find a job or some sort of full time occupation to sustain me during the upcoming year after graduating from a pretty decent university with a relatively useless (though super awesome) degree in Sociology, I decided that the idea of going 6-12 months scraping by still working at a coffee shop (no offense, i love my coffee shop, but after 4 years of serving espresso, i must say i'm kind of over it...) was not very pleasing especially when all I really want to do is TRAVEL.

During my year abroad living/studying in Bologna, Italy during the 2007-08 school year (11 months total), I really discovered in me a passion for seeing the world. I love learning a language and talking to people and seeing all the things I've always wanted to see. Living somewhere else and conquering my fears (and conquering Italian!!) really sparked in me a desire to do it again....and AGAIN....AND AGAIN!

So, when, after 3 months of intense resume sending and cover letter rewriting and fruitless excellent interviews, I still had no prospects for the upcoming year, I began to think seriously about the idea of a year off of the real world spent traveling. So I looked up flights, and Peru was cheapest, but I still wasn't sure. Then came that fateful Taco Tuesday at Cass Street Bar in Pacific Beach in July. Over a $7 pitcher of beer (or 2 or 3), when discussing LIFE, as is a popular topic amongst us confused recent college graduates, my friends asked me the simple question "Why don't you just GO?"


I didn't have an answer. 
Because I was scared?? No. stupid answer. I'm 22 and already have lived a year abroad in another country where I didn't know anybody. I've traveled before. I know the dangers and have confidence in myself to adapt. I mean yes, I'm scared, but the idea much more excites me than scares me.
Because I don't have the money? No. Actually I am very lucky and got quite a bit of graduation presents in the form of money that could easily fund my trip to Peru and beyond.
Because I really should just find a job? No. I mean, there are jobs, but they're hard to find and get because there are about a million other people just like me trying to get them. Also, I honestly don't really know what I want to do. I know I would like to work in the nonprofit sector, but without any experience I don't have much hope at scoring any sort of job there. I need experience first. 

So I decided to do it. So I'm doing it. Done. 

Where am I going:
Well, first I'm leaving San Diego (as much as it breaks my heart to do so...) and heading back to San Jose for about a month. Then... PERU!

October 24-December 15 = Peru
In Peru, I will be volunteering  for the first month in Cuzco at the Yanapay House.
I'll be staying at their homestay and volunteering at the afterschool program with the younger child age group. I'll also be taking some spanish lessons and maybe check out some other NGOs in town to see what they're all about and what kind of issues they're dealing with in Cuzco and Peru. 
For the last 3 weeks, I'll be traveling! I'm hoping to make it to La Paz, Bolivia before heading back to Lima to fly back home to California in December. Soon I'll be figuring out the traveling logistics. I'm really really excited!!! Machu pichu!!! Lake Titicaca!! EEEEEKKK!!!
Goal of trip: Speak decent spanish, see things I've always wanted to see, and experience a culture unlike any I've ever experienced.

December 15-early January = home for Christmas and New Years shinanigans somewhere in California

January 5/6- January 30 = Italy!!!!
Because I miss Carlotta. And I miss Italy. And even though it's going to be very cold and my favorite gelatarie won't be open, I NEED GELATO!!

February-late summer = Istanbul (with trips to Spain and London thrown in there for good measure)
Goal: Learn Turkish. Get some sort of work experience hopefully. Hopefully manage to get some internship at an international organization. And work on figuring out what masters program I want to do.
I would also love to travel more in the middle east. Syria perhaps? Lebanon?? We'll see what I can do.

So that is the plan so far. Life is a beautiful thing. I want to take advantage of my youth. I want stories to tell. I want to be able to say I've SEEN things rather than I WANTED to see things. Instead of just sitting around trying to get jobs I don't really know if I want, I'm just going to actively go out there and get experience and let the world mold me into what it needs me to be.

And I'm really really excited.