Thursday, September 19, 2013

In-between

It is kind of funny how time just goes. I don't know where it goes but it goes pretty fast. I am not even 23 yet, but I know that before I know it, I will be an old lady telling my grandkids about my life and the thrilling adventures that I had. Maybe they'll care, maybe they won't but I guess it won't really matter.
It's been a long time since I have written in this blog. So much has happened between then and now. Last I wrote I was planning my trip to Macedonia. The trip was amazing. I will save the details for a different post but I met some great people and gained some unforgettable memories.

Now, back to my current life. I guess being in my early 20's means I have a lot of different choices to make. What kind of life do I want to pursue? Where do I see myself in the next 1, 2, 5, 10 years? Will I have a good job, kids, a stable life? It's hard to know exactly what direction I, or anyone for that matter, wants to take. On one hand, I want to travel the world. I want to volunteer with animals, see as much as possible, meet people from all over, live with just the basics, wake up without knowing where the day will take me, pursue my dreams, and take risks. On the other hand, I want to be realistic. I want to be stable, have a good-paying job, build a support system of friends and family in a set location, and have a good idea of what my future holds. Right now, the former is the most appealing to me. As I sit in my cozy kitchen, I dream about what lies in this amazing world that so many people fail to see. Since I was a kid, I have fantasized about grand adventures on rough seas, through humid, mosquito-filled forests, and across cold, daring mountain ranges. What's the point of this life if not to see and experience it all? But then I go back to here and now. At what age do you forget about these crazy adventures and let reality sink in? Does it ever have to sink in? Can I live an adventurous life forever (and do I even want to)?

I don't have the answers to any of these questions. These questions (and many more) just seem to pop into my head a little too frequently.

So, here I am with no answers but with some big decisions to make. My latest decision consists of this: While I want to settle down at some point (and no, I do not know when that point will be), I know that if I don't follow my heart and see the world, I will regret it more than anything. That is why I decided to book one of the biggest trips I have booked to date. On January 21st I will be flying into Nicaragua to start a 5-month tour of Central and South America. This will be the longest amount of time I have ever traveled and while I am a little bit nervous, I am also extremely excited. That's not all though. I will be traveling with someone I barely know. I hope this trip not only brings me closer to this person, but also brings me closer to myself, to the amazing nature that surrounds us, and to the people living in the places I will visit.

Because I am leaving in January (4 months from now), I am in a strange in-between phase. I am currently only working at Ale House, saving money, painting, writing, etc. It's a weird feeling to be in this in-between stage. While I know the future holds a great journey, I still question what it is that I am doing with my time. The frequent question of "Oh you graduated? What are you doing?" doesn't help, especially because I have a degree from an above average University and am working in a restaurant, which does not require a degree. However, as much as I question this life, the meaning of it all, and where my place is on this planet, I know that I have to follow my heart. If nothing else, do what brings happiness. Being young, and only being responsible for myself, puts me in a position to do anything in the world. Maybe I will travel and spend every penny I have saved and then come back get a job and do it all over again (this scares my mom to death). Or maybe I will travel now, settle down, and then travel again later on in life. Or maybe I will figure out a way to continuously travel and work at the same time. Whatever it is is, it doesn't really matter. All that matters is to live a life one is proud of and excited about. I am sure the rest will fall into place one way or another.