Day 23: Dream job

I’m one of those people whose dream job changes almost as frequently as I change clothes.

As a child I wanted to be a professional ballerina, so I took up ballet and that dream fell away almost as soon as I put on those toe-breaking shoes!  Then as a (somewhat) sensible college student, I wanted to become a lawyer–specifically a woman’s rights or environmental advocate. I went into law school wide-eyed and hopeful.  I came out jaded and spiritually battered.

Still hoping to do something that’s helpful to the greater good, I became a kindergarten teacher but that lasted all of two years. Then the thrill of the SCUBA diving industry beckoned and the idea of getting paid to do what I loved seemed like a dream come true. It was, and then it wasn’t.

I’ve had a few other jobs–in banking, hotel management, restaurant, call center and legal. Currently, I’m teaching English as a second language.  So far I’m really enjoying it and love that it helps me afford a life of travel. Is it my dream job? Hardly. Like any other  line of work it is exactly that: work.  You put into it as much as you want out of it, and sometimes it doesn’t even balance out. Some days it’s can be incredibly fulfilling and uplifting and joyful.  Sometimes it can be mundane or stressful or soul-sucking.

So I guess what I’m saying is that my dream job changes.  The same way I am always changing, always growing, always evolving.

What’s ideal for me depends on who I am and where I am as a person. At this particular time in my life, I’m drawn to writing. Someday I’d love to get published. Maybe write a short story or even a book. But then again all that can change, can’t it?  🙂

 

Day 22: Best thing to happen this year

There hasn’t been one great event or a life changing moment this year, but then it’s only May.

2017 didn’t exactly start out so great, and as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been kind of in a rut lately.  My itchy feet want to pack up and head to a new destination but I can’t quite do that yet. So life’s been a bit of a routine. Nothing spectacular.

But I am a big fan of Tao teachings and have been trying to apply this very zen philosophy about my current state:

tao-te-ching-quote-when-spring-comes-the-grass-grows-by-itself

Actually, the full quote is:

Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation of this, but I take it to mean that things will happen in their own time.  Fretting, stressing, bitching about it isn’t going to make things happen the way you want them to.  Although it certainly helps to vent and release the negative build up sometimes.

I’m not a patient person. I’ll be the first to admit that. But I’m working on it.

So what’s the best thing to happen this year? Let’s see, shall we?

 

Day 21: 10 Favorite Foods

Only 10?

I’m going to have to really think this through because I love food!

  1. Sushi. Hands down my favoritest food in the world! I prefer the authentic kind, obviously–nigiris, sashimi, hand rolls–but if someone puts a California roll in front of me, I’d eat it.
  2. A traditional Palauan meal. What I love about a traditional Palauan meal is the simplicity.  Brak, dryland taro, cultivated and prepared by a mechas, old lady or grandma; smoked or fried fish caught off the reef the same morning or the night before; a little soy sauce (adopted into the diet from Japanese colonial times) with local hot peppers. Sometimes it’s accompanied by some sauteed kankum, local spinach, and/or billum, grated tapioca/cassava wrapped in dried ti or coconut leaves and boiled.
  3. Bagels with cream cheese and lox. I developed a taste for them while living in Boston. It’s hard to come by anywhere other than in the U.S. and a rare treat.
  4. Tamales. Many Latin American countries have their own version but so far I’ve only tried Mexican and Costa Rican.  Apparently the types of tamales out there are unnumerable and I must try all of them!
  5. Pancit. This dish conjures up childhood memories of my mother preparing it in the kitchen and me helping slice the calamansi, tiny local lemons, for garnishing.
  6. Pho. I haven’t made it to Vietnam (yet) but I already know the pho there is unbelievably good. Every bowl of this flavorful noodle soup I’ve had (all outside of its motherland) has been out-of-this-world!
  7. Hawaiian poke. I. Love. Tuna. Which causes a huge moral dilemma for me because I believe in the preservation of our marine animals and many species of tuna are going extinct.  Now I only ever have poke when I’m back in Palau or if I know for sure that the tuna 1) isn’t on the endangered list and 2) it was sustainably caught.
  8. Croissants. Especially chocolate or almond. Yuuuuuuumy!!!
  9. Ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream???? Even the lactose intolerant or vegans have their version of these frozen nectar from the gods!
  10. Chocolate. Come on, you knew it’d be on the list. I’m surprised I didn’t put it as number one!

Adrift

The Daily Post’s prompt for today is Adrift and I think it’s appropriate that I post about my blog name.  Anne Adrift describes me and my life as it is right now.  I am a drifter, in the very best sense of the word.

I have never felt like I belonged to one particular place in the world. I’ve been traveling since I was two years old, lived in six different countries, traveled extensively and have no plans to stop any time soon. I am unanchored—meaning that I have no one and nothing to compel me to stay in one place or to influence my freedom to roam. I am afloat; buoyed up by the possibilities and adventures that this incredible planet has to offer. I am adrift; flowing along with the currents of life and wanderlust.

I am adrift. As we all essentially are.

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Day 20: Difficult time in my life

Oh my god, there’s been a lot.

I guess what pops into mind right away (and what I’m sure most people can relate to) is that transition phase into high school.  That tumultuous time when you’re no longer a kid but a teenager; when climbing trees isn’t cool anymore and boys start to become aliens from another planet instead of your long time playmates.

For me there was the added layer of moving away from my quiet island home to a more sophisticated, modern place like Guam.  Although separated by merely 800 miles of ocean, the two islands couldn’t have been more different.  In Palau, we had mostly unpaved roads and probably about a hundred cars total. Guam had tall buildings, malls, four lane roads and McDonalds–very very foreign concepts in Palau.

It was a time of enormous change.

It was difficult because it was the first time I had ever left my family.  It was terrifying that I was moving in with complete strangers who were to be my guardians. They were an American couple, both lawyers, and their four children.  The fear was short-lived as they immediately became family to me and I love them dearly to this day.  But it was still a huge adjustment and I missed my family in Palau terribly.

And then there was high school.  It was difficult because everyone in school was cool.

I was a small island girl who, before arriving in Guam, had never been to a mall or had a Big Mac or ever painted my nails. Sure I saw all those things on TV back home but I couldn’t really relate to my peers at first.

It was difficult because I found myself trying to balance being the smart, studious girl (I was on a scholarship and my family had high hopes I’d be the first on the tree to go to college) and fitting into my new hormone-and-drama infused world.  I went to a reputable college-prep school where everyone came from a prestigious, well-to-do family—except for me. Luckily I was never bullied for it. In fact, it was never really an issue with my peers. It was more of my own insecurities and internal battles that made high school so difficult on an emotional level.

Eventually the difficult times dissipated and I gained the confidence I needed to find out who I was and what I wanted to be.  By my junior year I was class president and a social butterfly hosting sleep overs and throwing late night house parties (it helped that my family had a sweet swimming pool).  My rebellious side came out my senior year. There were lots of sneaking out and partying and defying authority.  For some miraculous reason, I still graduated with good enough grades to earn a full scholarship at a college in Boston.

In hindsight, that difficult time was crucial in shaping me into the person I am today. If I hadn’t taken the leap (at such a young age too) to leave my comfort zone, I don’t think I’d have the conviction to have traveled and lived in all the places I have. I’m so thankful for my family (both blood and by choice) and friends who have always supported me in my choices. And I’m thankful for the difficult times that have shown me what and who I am.

 

 

 

 

Day 19: What I collect

When I had more of a permanent home and traveling meant vacation as opposed to lifestyle, I collected all sorts of knick knacks and souvenirs. Shot glasses. Key chains. Post cards. Spoons. Ticket stubs. T-shirts. Stuffed animals.

They took a lot of space, that’s for sure. And I bet if I had kept all the receipts I’d realize I spent an obscene amount of money on them.

But they’re all gone now. There was no way I was going to take all (or any) of them with me on my nomadic journey. They’d only way me down and ultimately, I realized, it’s more important for me to collect memories than things anyway.

So now I collect recipes from each place I spend time in. Homestays are great for that, by the way. What better way to remember a place than by its food and flavors? As something of a foodie myself, tastes serve as delicious souvenirs.

Memories I collect in my heart and mind. It’s not corny, it’s practical and priceless. Pictures and Facebook also help preserve those moments. And now, thanks to WordPress and the wonderful invention that is the web, I’m hoping that chronicling my adventures (and mishaps) will preserve the many memories I collect on this journey.

 

Day 18: Meaning behind my blog name

Anne Adrift is my third attempt at keeping a blog. I guess the third time really is a charm.

My first blog was called From Wet Suits to Law Suits, which was supposed to chronicle my life paralegal (and eventually law) school when I left my dive shop job in Palau. Supposed to is the operative phrase. I got in two or three posts until the busyness and craziness of life 1) in the legal realm and 2) in the U.S. overtook my life.

My second one was Journey in Wanderlust. Yeah, I know.  I started it right after I decided to quit my then life for a more nomadic one and just before I left the U.S.  I was reading a lot of travel blogs at that time and the word wanderlust was stuck in my head.  Anyway, I wanted to do it right so I got it hosted and spent hours creating it. I maintained it for about six months in Costa Rica. Then one day I had issues with the credit card that was linked to the hosting site’s monthly billing and I haven’t been able to log in since.

That’s when I decided to go back to the absolutely free route and started Anne Adrift on WordPress. Plain and simple it’s a blog about me and my life as I travel from place to place in search of experiences. You could say I’m a drifter, with no permanent home searching for parts unknown.