Hello friends, family, and loved ones!
This is a very exciting time in my life as I am preparing to embark on a journey and follow a dream. I have bought a one-way ticket to a distant locale and plan to travel without plan or agenda...taking time to work, play, learn, and volunteer. I am not planning any sort of return date, simply because I do not want to and I have nothing holding me back. I possess a rarity that is complete freedom. No job, boyfriend, lease, car payment, or schooling to finish....the concept is pretty staggering when I actually stop to think about it. It's a beautiful thing! And while I feel like it was accidental that I am suddenly at liberty and unrestrained, maybe I have subconsciously been plotting my life to unfold this way for years. Haha, quite a thought, but I guess I will never really know.
Before I made the decision to take off on this incredible adventure, I did want to give a chance to a completely different kind of lifestyle. I interned for one of the prestigious big 4 public accounting firms in their Business Assurance line of service (aka Audit). It was definitely a learning experience! I lived the life of a very busy business "professional" for two and a half months, meeting many smart and successful people with whom I hope to maintain relationships and friendships. I received a full-time job offer for a later date, once I have completed a fifth year of school (in order to take the CPA exam, you must have your bachelors in accounting plus one additional year of schooling in whatever you choose). In case you were wondering, I have not made any sort of definitive career decisions just yet. Every person is different and I have a lot of respect for those who can jump right into full-time jobs after college. Personally, I know there is so much more for me to experience and learn before I can feel confident in committing to ANY sort of job. One of the most important lessons I learned during the internship was about myself--I am not quite ready to start a career or become a professional. This could be in my future, but it is not in my present.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand! I have chosen Thailand as my jumping off point for a few reasons apart from the fact that it is the prime destination for many backpackers from all over the globe. My dear cousin, Faren, arrived in Southeast Asia at the very end of January. Faren and I are very similar (see: farentravels.blogspot.com) in our hunger to see the world and experience different cultures through immersion. Faren was the first person who piqued my interest in Thailand. She is currently in the province of Surat Thani, working as an English teacher. As soon as possible after I land in Bangkok, Faren and I will rendezvous and become partners in crime from that point on! It is definitely a dream come true for both of us, because we (along with my sister Julia and cousin Eve) have always talked of traveling/living/working together at some point in our lives. I can hardly believe Faren and I are actually making it happen! Of course, it will not be the same without the other two, but there is still time (ahem, Julia and Eve, when are you coming?). Faren has been a complete angel in helping me with travel plans, answering all my questions, and working to get me an "in" with the language school at which she is working. She has previous experience teaching English in China and so was able to get hired by a great school. Meanwhile, I have barely taught anything in my life, yet I am quite enthusiastic and very much looking forward to the challenge and experience of teaching English. With these skills, we will have a lot of open doors, and we may eventually choose a path that takes us to China or another country in Asia. But only time will tell! I am hesitant to reveal any possible future plans because everything is so tentative. Like I said, I want to live with no agenda and as little commitment as possible!
An added bonus of venturing over to the Indochina region of the world is that my oldest best friend, Jenna, is in Sri Lanka! She had been in Europe with her boyfriend, Zach, since last July, traveling and working. The two of them have recently made the move to Sri Lanka to launch a project, "Wave of Hope," which supports childrens' education in the country. This is something that is in dire need of assistance, particularly since the tsunami ravaged the area. My hopes are that I will have the opportunity to help Jenna and Zach on Wave of Hope in Sri Lanka before moving on from that general area of the globe. By then, I could be more than ready to come home, or maybe i'll make my way down to Australia or New Zealand...the possibilities are endless....and of course there is always the question of having enough money to support myself, which will likely come into question.
I leave at approximately 1 am on March 29th and arrive in Bangkok shortly after noon on March 30th, local time, effectively losing hours of my life that I can regain only upon my return. Like so many others, I have been struck with wanderlust, and combined with my love of writing, I knew I had to create a blog to chronicle my adventures (can you tell that I can write for hours without a break? of course I will not have this luxury without my own computer). This journal is not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive, only to give you a peak into my thoughts and the current status of my life. After all, if you are are reading and you've made it this far, the chances are good that I am going to be missing YOU very soon! Hint: I would love it if you wrote an email to update me on your life :)
This concludes the "prologue" to my story. I hope you've enjoyed it!