This is my first post and I am exactly 72 days until my big adventure around the world. This year has been a very rough one for me. Many doors have closed or slammed in my face and many have opened. I would never have imagined a year ago that my life would have done a back flip. In one year my relationship with my husband ended, my house was sold, I moved back in with my parents and decided to take a year off and travel the world. I know it sounds very "Eat, Love, Pray"ish but for me it is more than that. This year has helped me open my eyes to see the person I want to be as opposed to the person you are supposed to be. In American society in your late twenties success is defined by marriage, a house, and kids. For a long time I thought that was what I needed to be "happy". In this last year I have learned that maybe the house, marriage and kids is not all that is needed to be a "success" or to be happy. This year of turmoil in my personal life has made me think back and reflect on my life and the times I have been most happy. I remember hiking in the Lakes District in England with some of my closest friends, dancing in a night club in Krakow Poland with my cousin Katie after spending a depressing day at Auschwitz, staring at the stars with my good friend Brent on the beaches of Greece, calling my friend Jonte from Italy to describe the sun setting, zip lining through the Costa Rican rainforest, riding doom buggies in Tahiti, driving through the Serengeti at dusk, Camping in the Hot Springs outside Arusha Tanzania, and being smuggled into Panama on a tour that wasn't exactly led by a tour guide. Then I also think of my amazing family that has been there for me and has supported all my crazy antics, even the ones that might involve snakes and sharks, and I realize how blessed I am. I am not a religious person but this year of hardship has definitely opened my eyes to what I have and those in my life that I love and could not live without. As I spend this year making new friends and participating in new crazy adventures I will always keep in my head those adventures and those people who gave me the courage all these years to do my own thing and find my own "success".
And to my students reading this, I hope my experiences over the next year can help you see that there is a big world out there and although cultures at times collide sometimes that collision leads to amazing experiences. Always Remember- Explore- Dream- Discover.