Excuse my poor writing skills…

So here I am .  Twenty one years old and 8 inches of hair lighter.  It’s less than 24 hours from my departure.  Everything is ready.  It is amazing that one backpack laying on my bed carries my whole life, all my belongings.  I don’t know what to think right now.  I am having a whirlwind of excitement trying to suppress my nerves.  I mean lets be serious, I have NEVER BEEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY…much less backpacked my way through it.  And I am not going to Canada, no… I am going to basically the farthest place from the U.S. I could go.  But I think I am ready…

….When I walk onto plane tomorrow I will be leaving a lot behind.  But I like to think that a new life is starting.  For the first time in my life I will be going somewhere nobody has heard of me.  There will be no familiar streets or faces.  It is a chance to see everything in a new light.  As much as I want to see the Sydney Opera House, the sandy beaches of Surfer’s Paradise, or the 1,500 species of fish in the Great Barrier I hope that I have a religious experience.  I want to be humbled with the little that I own, the lives we will affect through community service, and the nobody that I will be.  I want to start off my life on a different foot.  Life doesn’t have to be as monotonous as everybody makes it out to be. I want to learn how to solve problems in a healthy way, and realize that every problem will make me a better person.  I want to come home realizing who my best friends really are when I am deciding who I can’t wait to call first.

You may be thinking this blog is a little much. And I may say that you’re right.  I mean, people travel all the time. And I mean let’s be serious, how long have people been backpacking The Appalachian Trail?  This girl is going to civilized places with beaches!  Again I would agree with you.  But I would also like to tell you that no one all the way down my family tree had ever done anything, or had the opportunity to do anything like this (unless they were in World War II).  Now I don’t mean to say that to shed a light on myself.  But I want you to know that because this trip symbolizes a lot more to me than just some time off..but a new way of living.  Hopefully someday I could share my adventures with my future children and explain to them the power of following your dreams and to dare to do things differently.

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(something I made in fourth grade by collecting coins around the house 🙂 )

I will not be bringing a computer, but whenever I get access to one…I would love to share the journey with you.  Thanks for following, I love you all and God bless.

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If you so choose, the “grass” will always be green on your side

So I am not really sure if anyone follows this, but I will continue to write to keep my thoughts together! First of all, I want to apologize for the long pause.  I was up at school busy with finals and the end of my job, and since I have been home I have barely used technology!

Just to give you an update:  I am home for approximately a month.  Tim is here with me and my parents and we are taking this precious time to make more money for the trip, get in shape, and plan out the trip.  Tim has a job with a construction company for three weeks and I have been babysitting, house sitting, and worked at the East Coast Surfing Championship.  We bought our plane tickets also!!!  We are flying to Sydney on September 27th  and will be making it back to Norfolk December 11th.  This should be about the same time everybody gets out of school and enough time before the holidays.

It is really crazy to think that the tickets were actually bought, and this is really happening.  I will also say that I also feel odd, like the feeling you have when you play hookie from school.  I have some very mixed emotions, I have a hard time thinking about what I am missing at school because I LOVE my sorority and miss it very much, but I also really like spending this time to reflect on life.  I guess something I am trying to learn is to enjoy where ever I am at the time. Too many times I think about what is going one somewhere else.  It is part of my personality to want to see and do everything, but I need to turn that into a positive thing and enjoy where I am at the moment.

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So this morning I decided to take a jog, continuing my work out routine for the trip especially, when I was stopped by friends of my mothers.  It’s funny how every time I see somebody my first instinct is to explain why I am home, so nobody thinks I flunked out of school.  It will be nice to be a nomad who is not defined by my individual achievements.  Both of these women have accomplished a lot and have beautiful families to continue show for it.  One of the ladies in particular has been battling with cancer for about 6 years, yet her positivity about life blows me away.  You can learn a lot from people like that.  After explaining the whole crazy ordeal they both were amazed, shared their thoughts, and even expressed a little jealousy.  The lady with cancer looked me in the eyes and told me that ‘ life never slows down and to always do the things you want to accomplish with goals in mind.’  She even explained how no step of your life is final.  You CAN take a break from your job and even if you have a family, kids are mobile too.  I will always remember that advice and cherish their approval of my non-conventional plan.  I ran home and ended my jog with a little faster pace.