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.