That time again

Those who know me well are familiar with my two year streak.  Other than growing up in Palau, my high school years on Guam and college in Boston, I haven’t live in one place for more than two years at a time.

On October 12th, I celebrated my two year anniversary in Costa Rica (and what a celebration it was too!).

Needless to say, the two year itch is here and I’m scratching the hell out of it! Come December, I’m off to Colombia to spend two weeks traveling with a friend and another three weeks doing a work exchange somewhere in the Caribbean coast.

After that I’m heading to Brazil–that’s right, BRAZIL–for…..

Wait for it……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

carnaval.gif

It’s been on my bucket list forever and now that I’m in such (relatively) close proximity AND have a Brazilian friend going too, there’s no way I’m going to pass up this opportunity.

After Carnaval I plan to do another work exchange in a small village by the beach just outside of Sao Paolo. If everything works out, I’ll be teaching English to the locals in return for room and board for about a month.

From there I’ll head to Peru. Specifically, the splendid city of Arequipa. Except for eventually seeing Machu Picchu, I don’t have any solid plans yet for what exactly I’m going to do. I may do another work exchange or perhaps try to get an English teaching job.

So that’s the general blueprint, for now anyway. I may have to tweak some things as I go but therein lies the fun and excitement, right?!

My pants would be on fire if I said I wasn’t the least bit nervous.  Although this is the first time I’m actually doing this without a proper safety net like a secure job, I’ve done the travel thing long enough to know that it comes with risks and challenges.

But then again, so does any other path any of us choose to take in this life.

My tickets are booked and the countdown is on!

58 days

 

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Day 16: The top of my bucket list

As someone who wants to see, taste, feel, meet and experience all the wonders this remarkable planet embodies, I have several bucket lists and each one as endlessly long as the other.  So I’m going to share just the top 5 of my top 8 categories.

My Travel Bucket List

1. Norway. I’m not a big fan of frigid climates but to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) I would absolutely brave the cold.

2. Peru. What an enchanted country! Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines, Ausangate (Rainbow Mountain)—they’re all in Peru.

3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The bar was set pretty high when I took my first SCUBA dive in the inimitable waters of Palau. But I’ve heard wonders about the wildlife and natural beauty of the Galapagos and would love to experience them first hand.

4. Bolivia. I’m all about natural phenomena that take my breath away. The salt flats of Salar de Uyuni do just that. Just looking at the photos leave me breathless. I can’t even begin to imagine seeing it in person.  I must go in person. uyuni

5. Italy. This is on everyone’s travel bucket list and for good reason. The food, the culture, the arts, the history and architecture, the beauty. What’s not inviting about Italy?

I’m a little sad I’ve limited myself to only five, but then this would go on forever so on to the next category.

My Events Bucket List

1. Attend The Superbowl (preferably with the Patriots playing).

2. Imbibe in Munich during Oktoberfest.

3. Party in Rio for Carnival.

4. Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

5. Watch the Summer Olympic Games in person.

My Foodie Bucket List

1. Flaming Hot Cheetos Bagel. Yes it’s a thing! And my penchant for hot and spicy foods can’t wait to try it!

2. Aperitivo in Milan, Italy. It’s like happy hour but even better! And apparently Milan does it the best.

3. Street food in Bangkok, Thailand. Numerous friends have told me about the gastronomically amazing food in the streets of Bangkok and my taste buds are excited.

4. Pho in Vietnam. I. LOVE. PHO! I’ve had some really excellent ones but am yet to try the authentic version in Vietnam itself.

5. Cuy in Ecuador/Peru. So I’m a little squeamish about eating guinea pig but it’s a traditional part of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian diet and apparently quite tasty. A true foodie isn’t afraid to try new things and I’m not going to shy away from a little adventure!

Extreme Experience Bucket List

1. Go sky diving. Jumping off a “perfectly good airplane” scares the sh*t out of me and that’s exactly why I’m going to do it someday.

2. Sail across a large body of water. One of the ironic things about me is that as an island girl (born and raised on islands completely surrounded by water and swimming before walking), I get sea sick! Actually it is has nothing to do with where I come from; doctors say it’s an ear imbalance. It’s really annoying because I love sailing but it makes me physically sick. Someday I’m going to just suck it up and sail across a large body of water.

3. Set foot on a glacier. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like the cold and you won’t find anything about visiting the Arctic or Antarctic on any of my bucket lists. BUT… I do want to touch or set foot on a glacier. They’re so beautiful and formidable and an just plain awesome.

4. Swim/dive with whale sharks. I’ve dived with some of the most majestic and beautiful sharks–bull, white tip, black tip, silver tip, nurse, leopard, silk, hammerhead. Never with the whale shark and it’d be a dream come true to swim with them in their natural environment.

5. Visit an active volcano. Lava flowing and all.

My Educational Bucket List

1. Relearn the 300+ Japanese kanji characters I’ve forgotten. I studied Japanese for over 5 years. Unfortunately years without use or practice have erased a lot of what I learned. I can still speak a little and write most of the Hiragana and Katakana characters, but I honestly only know one kanji character right now (and only because it’s tattooed on my back!)

2. Learn to speak Spanish better. It’s been a real struggle but I’m working on it.

3. Get yoga teacher certified. This one is especially close to my heart because yoga has helped me in so many ways and continues to help me grow as a being on this planet. I’d really like to get it in Bali—the place that inspired me to get into yoga in the first place.

4. Sewing. How cool would it be to be able to sew my own clothes? And not just that, design and sew bags, curtains, etc.

5.  Self-defense/Martial Arts. I think this is not only a practical skill to have as a solo female traveler but a good discipline on the physical and mental levels.

6. Take a baking course. I love baking and am pretty good at it, if I may say so myself. 🙂 But I don’t have any real training in it and would love to learn all the technical things and trade tips and tricks. (Oops, I cheated on this one and listed six!)

Good Karma Bucket List

1. Volunteer with a cause to promote girl empowerment and education and women’s rights.

2. Donate anonymously to someone in need.

3.  Adopt a pet (again).

4. Pay for a stranger’s meal.

5. Plant (more) trees.

Life Goals Bucket List

  1. Write my memoir. It’ll be a long one, but I think I’ll enjoy it.
  2. Get published. Even if it’s just an article. Ideally, though, it’d be a book.
  3. Start my own business. I don’t mind paying my dues now and learning from all the people I work for and with. But someday it’d be nice to be my own boss.
  4. Be an awesome aunt to my future nieces and nephews. Although I’ve decided not to be a mom, I know I’d make one heck of an aunt. 🙂
  5. Pay forward. The kindness and generosity people in my life have shown me.

Mind & Body Bucket List

  1. Go on a silent retreat. 
  2. Do the Whole 30 / body reset/ detox. As in do it completely for 30 days!
  3. Get the tattoos I’ve been wanting. 
  4. Be able to meditate for more than fifteen minutes. 
  5. Go to a Wanderlust Yoga Festival.