Hey all 🙂
In T-minus eight hours or so, I will be (hopefully) slumbering my way to Bangkok to embark on the third and final leg of my world-wide year of wandering. Unlike usual, I managed to get my stuff prepped and packed yesterday, so aside from mosquito-proofing a couple additional pairs of socks and picking up Boggle for long bus rides, I’ve been largely unoccupied today, and therefor of course inside my own head.
I think it probably goes without saying that I’m having lots of doubts: after a year away from teaching, and a year left mostly to my own whims, dreams, and devices, how am I going to prepare for the culture shock of going back into the classroom? With the political climate being what it is, I feel morally compelled to return to my students and public education, but after seeing so much of the worlds and spending so much of it outdoors, do I really want to return to an indoor only profession? Is there a way I can combine my love of teaching, my desire for a better future for my self and my students, and my passion for the outdoors? To be continued…
I hope it also goes without saying that today’s lack of packing stress has also left a lot of room to meditate on gratitude. I feel like this probably has been the most common focus word in my blogging this year, and for good reason. I am traveling across the world, an opportunity afforded to few and not often taken by those who have it. My U.S. passport gives me a power of movement denied to so many others, as does my white skin, my control of the English language, my lack of student debt and economic stability, etc. Although I am choosing to spend my time away from home, I have a super loving, supportive family who looks after my critters and deals with the various issues I have abroad like champs. I have an amazing man who has supported me always on my journey, even though I know it isn’t easy to smile and tell me over and over again “Go.” I have my friends and my team who remind me every time I see them how wonderful it is to have someone who is excited to see you. I get to call California my home, and always return from whatever paradise I am visiting to my home paradise. Along the way, I’ve met some truly amazing humans who have adopted or befriended me along the way. The way I was raised developed my passion, persistance, and determination to do good. I am so, so grateful for all of this and more.
I want to take a minute to once again thank the people who rose to the battle cry “Community!” and helped fund my community contribution for this last leg of my trip:
To Jon, my love, for your undying support, for keeping me warm when I’m cold, for making me tea in the morning even if I don’t get out of bed, for loving receiving all the flowers almost as much as I love buy them for you, and for donating, thank you.
To Leslie, one of my oldest horsey friends, thank you.
To Kristy, my new team mate, thank you. I look forward to getting to know you better soon!
To Malka, one of the strongest, independent, free-spirited women I know, thank you.
To Grandpa Joe and Aunt Liz, thank you for helping raise me right and for you generous donations.
To my anonymous unicorn donors, thank you.
To Aunt Peg, watching from afar and keeping the rest of my crazy east coast family in line, thank you.
To Jodi, my teacher mom and dearest friend, thank you for your donation, your kind soul, and your patient ear in my first years of teaching.
To Taylor, my childhood bestie and longtime travel story swapper, thank you.
To Josh, one of my best friends and inspiration for leaving a path to pursue the right one when it is time, thank you. I jumped in a super cold river, just so you know.
To Kerry, my adoptive New Zealand mom, energizer bunny incarnate, and super hero, thank you.
To all of you who were unable to donate, but spread the word for me or offered your thoughts and words of wisdom and encouragement, thank you.
Thank you for your help, and for being part of my community!
In my short (less than three weeks!) at home between New Zealand and SEA, I didn’t get to see all the people I wanted or finish blogging about New Zealand. I’m sure I’ll be fully emerged in looking for jobs when I get back, but I’ll try to get a post up ASAP (yeah, kind of like the one I still have unpublished about my birthday trip last year, Ireland, and the rest of Europe…) about my independent adventures and Jon joining me in NZ for a couple weeks (spoiler: we had a blast). Until then, be on the lookout for updates on SEA, sustainable agriculture, river turtles, elephants, and saving the world, one day at the time!