Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blame it on the Goose... Gotcha Feelin Loose...

So this past Saturday night, while celebrating Halloween in the adult way (with booze.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Or don’t.  I just didn’t get to make out with any dudes unfortunately.) I let it slip to a co-worker and friend that I was leaving.  I blame my friend who was attempting to get me drunk.  Actually I don’t.  I blame it on the ah-ah-aaahhcahol. 

My co-worker and I have bonded because we are the only two people under thirty in our group.  Plus we’re both pretty fun so we get along quite well.  However it’s been sad to watch his demise from being the bastion of hope in the program to being just as bitter as I am.  The past few weeks he has been struggling with the questions of should he stay at his job or just leave, what if he doesn’t get a new job, this is a crappy economy, etc etc.  I’ve been struggling with telling him about the fact that I’m going to be leaving my job for a while as well.  I figured I would tell him when he gets back from his 5 week long vacation.  He’s going on a renewal, which adds to his desire to get out since he now has to stay at his job for 2 more years.  It’s complicated.  So thanks to my friend Captain Morgan I told him that I was leaving in March.  Of course, after that I was persuaded by my crush to leave the party (again, giving me booze but not making a move? WTF?) and go to another one.  So I didn’t get to tell him that much about my decision making process and give him whatever insight that I could help provide him with. 

Fast forward to this morning where I read one of my horoscopes that said that I may be prompted to share my feelings with a co-worker today but to be cautious about what I say.  It always freaks me out when my horoscope matches exactly what is going on in my life.  But that did also give me the courage to really tell him what I am planning to do.  Hopefully it will be to him what the story I heard was to me.  A motivator that I can do this seemingly ridiculous thing and everything will end up ok.  That quitting my job, going to travel through Europe and moving back home is not the end of something but the beginning of something.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Snowy Halloween

So, last night was the night where a girl can dress like a slut and get away with it.  I, however, chose to go a different route.  And as seems to be the case with most costumes that aren't a slutty this, I had to explain to a lot of people who I was.  Although most did say that they had only seen the movie once which I view as a tragedy in their lives but alas.....

It was also yet another night of going out and not really connecting with any one.  Sometimes I feel like I am so alone and disconnected from the people around me.  I just don't have the energy to try to make small talk with people I know I'm not going to see again.  (And yes, I realize that I have no way of knowing if I'm going to see someone again or not, but when you're talking to a random person at a party and they clearly would rather be elsewhere, you just have a gut feeling.)   I realize that I am not the type of person that when I first meet someone they're like "I have to hang out with her more".  I am more of a slow realization of how awesome I am.  And that's ok.  It makes me wonder if I'm also using the fact that I'm leaving as a catalyst to not bothering to meet new people.  It makes me sad because I am sure these people are all really nice but I just find it really hard to want to get to know someone if I am just going to be leaving in a few months any way.

Also, we got snow yesterday.  Snow.  On October 29.  Weird.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I stole this from Chris Guillebeau (http://chrisguillebeau.com/) If you're not reading him, get your act together.

At first, you weren't sure you had it in you. Fear, doubt, naysayers, and what-ifs threatened to hold you back. You left anyway, determined to see it out.

The people around you talked about consequences and the risk of uncertainty. Wouldn't it be safer not to go? Wouldn't you be better off homebound, shut off from the world in the comfortable setting you knew so well?

You smiled and went anyway, knowing the real truth:consequences can just as well be positive. Unexpected surprises can be good. But if you don't go, you'll never know for sure.

You embraced the logic of the underdog: the last shall be first; the poor shall be rich; blessed are those who live for adventure, for they shall never die with regrets.

These things kept you alive along the way:

The love of good friends.
The belief in yourself.
The conviction that your life should count for something.
The resoluteness of purpose.

Others debated whether the journey or the destination was more important; you split the difference by choosing to enjoy them both. It's good to arrive, but it's good to enjoy the ride.

At the end, you rest for a while. And then you're ready to do it again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why am I going on this trip?  Obviously I don’t like my job and want to do  reset, but what am I really hoping to achieve while I’m gone.  But what am I really hoping will change about myself.  I believe that the time spent planning this trip, traveling and after the trip will be life changing.  At least I hope it will.  But what areas in my life do I think I need to change the most?  I need to work on not being so self focused, but to look outwards.  I need to embrace the not knowing what comes next.  Which I can feel I have started doing this, in small bits.  I know that being a planner is something that I am good at.  I like to plan things and make lists and have things in an order.  So I don’t want to change that about myself.  However I do want to be more spontaneous and just let things flow where they need to.  Which means I don’t get angry or anxious when things don’t go how I anticipated. 

I was talking with a friend and coworker today and recognized in him what I have been going through with this whole process.  I am very much debating telling him  about what I plan to do as a way to motivate him and give him hope that you don’t have to be stuck in the dead end.  While hearing him talk it was so eerie recognizing everything I was thinking.  But the best part was that I was able to recognize how much better I feel about my day to day life since I can now view it in the scope of this is only the part of a bigger story that is my life. 

-       To talk with someone of every generation (under 18, 20-40, 50-60, 60+) at length in every country
-       To push myself outside of my comfort zone by interacting with people in unfamiliar situations
-       To embrace spontaneity
-       To encourage a simpler lifestyle.  I hope that by getting rid of stuff prior to my trip and only having one bag during my trip I will come to realize that I don’t need so much stuff.  I’ve started this by getting rid of cable.  I don’t need to be able to watch over a hundred channels. However I do need books.
-       To see something beautiful and awe-inspiring.  Many something’s if possible.
-       Try a local food that would be considered gross at home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Great Movie Line

Not Listening to Fear

One of the biggest fears I've had about taking this trip is that people will not understand why I'm doing this and try to freak me out (intentionally or unintentionally). Don't worry. I border on freaking myself out on a daily basis. I love to read blogs. I've found The Freedom Experiment to be very...... freeing. (I know. I hate myself too.) She had one post recently that was done by a guest writer that really spoke to me.

  • Write down all your fears. Everything that could go wrong if you started to follow the path towards your dream. 
  • Now write down the best outcome that would be the exact opposite of all those nightmares right next to it. 

Most of the fear we have is about the unknown. Writing down everything that could possibly happen means that you can mentally prepare yourself for what could crop up once you start on your plans. If you can deal with a small failure along the path and get back up quickly, isn’t that a success?

Isn’t the dream outcome that you wrote down worth taking a risk for? What would your life be like if you achieved that dream? How would you change for the better? So I did. I wrote down how I was afraid I was not going to make money when I get back. I wrote down that I was afraid I would get hurt while on the trip. I wrote down that I hate the idea of having to explain to people why I'm going on this trip when the economy is in such a terrible place and am I not afraid I'm making a huge mistake.

Then - I wrote down that I could get a job temping or being a waitress or doing some online work. Then I wrote down that if I get hurt, I'm going to be in Europe where there are hospitals and doctors. Then I wrote down that just because the economy is in the crapper doesn't mean that I should stay at a job I am miserable at and that even if I am making a mistake, it's better to make it than to not. Then I wrote down that perhaps I will get a job overseas or meet a man and have amazing adventures.

So I decided to not live in fear. I decided to plan as much as I could and let life determine what I should be doing. I decided to choose to be happy and to be free. And that starts with going on a trip to Europe. How that takes shape afterwards I'll figure out then. But I am not going to live in fear any more. Unless there's a bee around. Then all bets are off.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I looked at tons of posts for a backpack.  It was overwhelming and I had no idea what to get.  Then, because my dad has signed me up for the LL Bean emails, I got a notice that one of the packs I had seen at the Beaner had gone on sale for $59.  And since it's from the Bean, they've got a good reputation for having quality products and a good return policy.  So I bit the bullet and bought one.  This one:  http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/60318?feat=1098-GN2.  I think it's going to work out quite well.  I took it on a trip to St. Louis and while it was much shorter than what THE TRIP will be, it worked out well.  I made the decision to get some of the "mesh clothes packers" (the official term, obvs) and that turned out to be a worthwhile investment.  I bought Rick Steve's because they were cheap on amazon.com.  So now I've got the pack and the packers, I just need to figure out the items to go in them.