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……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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On age, aging and moving forward

For some time now I’ve believed that age is an arbitrary concept that doesn’t necessarily define a person’s behavior or level of maturity. In many ways, it’s yet another social construct that puts people in boxes and dictates how we should act, think, and feel.

This past year I’ve certainly started to “feel my age” physically. Sadly, my metabolism isn’t as fast burning and, even sadder, I can’t drink as much as I used to without suffering for it the next day. Fine lines are starting to appear under my eyes, and just yesterday I found (gasp!) two gray hairs on my head! Reluctantly,  I’m accepting the reality that my body is aging and I’m trying to honor the change.

But in terms of the traditional expectations imposed on women in their 30s, I wouldn’t exactly say that I “reflect my age”. I’m unmarried, have no children or a permanent address. I have a job but not a career, a house but no mortgage. This is exactly the opposite of what most societies today expect and often even demand from women.  Believe it or not, I still (disturbingly enough) often get asked the question: when are you going to finally settle down? 

One of the best things I’ve learned this past year has been to answer that question with an honest: Maybe next week, maybe never. I don’t know. 

I may have completed another year around the sun but there are tons of things I still don’t know–and may never come to know. But I do know this: ever since I made the conscious decision to break from the mold and to follow my curiosity about this world more, I have been much happier.

So as I gear up for another trip around the sun, I also want to further open my mind and embrace my wandering curiosity. I guess my birthday is as good a time as any to make it official to my friends and family that I’ll be leaving Costa Rica in December. It has been an incredible ride, these last two years, and it’s time to move on.

Where to next?

Find out in my next post. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Finally…Hello, 2017

It’s 11 days into 2017 and it hasn’t really felt like a new year. Admittedly, I haven’t put a lot of effort into welcoming the year. The last couple of months of 2016 were financially and emotionally challenging times. There was drama, there were tears, and there were a couple of friendships lost. While I believe that some people simply don’t belong in our lives, it’s never pleasant to break bonds with people we care about.

The holidays were mostly restful and relaxing though marred by a few unpleasant events which, for the sake of starting afresh, I will not go into detail here.

The important thing is that the first full moon of the year is here tomorrow.  Those who know me well know that I’m a total selenophile.

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What I love about the moon is that it is a constant reminder for me that life is a continuous series of cycles. And every moment is an opportunity to create a new beginning. The turn of the year may not have been what I had hoped it to be, but tomorrow is a new day.  In concurrence with 2017’s first full moon, I’m determined to get excited about this year and to crank up a positive outlook on things.

Outside my window I can see the almost full moon. It’s beautiful, hopeful, and promising.

Finally, I can wholeheartedly welcome 2017.

A New Beginning (Again)

When I decided to make traveling the world my full time career (only less than a year ago), I created a website called Journey In Wanderlust to chronicle my escapades, experiences, adventures, and everything else in between. It was my first hosted website and I put a lot of hours, blood, sweat and tears into it. Well, at least at first.

Sadly–and rather shamefully–a few months after arriving in Costa Rica it became harder and harder to post regularly.  I could list a million excuses for neglecting the website but for the sake of moving forward and starting afresh, I’m simply not going to. Instead, I’m just going to announce that I’ve created this new blog because Journey In Wanderlust is no longer accessible.

In truth, I feel I might have chewed off  more than I could handle by trying to host and maintain a paid website. As a rookie and a newbie in the blogosphere, I really should have started with a free site like this one. Simple, easy, no fuss, no muss.

Like everything else in my journey, I’m learning and growing as I go. And my jaunt in blogging is no exception.

So while I’m very sad, and a little disappointed, to let go of Journey In Wanderlust–which was my brainchild and my baby–it’s time to reset and start over (while carrying over the lessons and the content from Journey) with Anne Adrift.

To my family and friends who are my biggest supporters, I hope you’ll continue to drift with me on this wondrous journey. To new friends, fellow wanderers, seekers, and nomads: welcome to the flow!

This space is my travel journal, an outlet for my creativity (and sometimes my frustrations), and a platform for conversation about everything and anything under the sun.

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