Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So, I kind of have plans

When I mentioned to Ange the idea of backpacking Asia after we graduate, I was secretly terrified of her immediate response of "sure!" More unnerving, Tiana's rather quick reply from a different continent. Shit, this is actually happening! You see, although I have tried to live my life forcing myself out my comfort zone and being spontaneous, this isn't something that comes naturally to me (although in most cases it ends up being rewarding). I at least like to have a general idea of where I am heading and how I will get there. I am afraid of pretty much everything. I have difficulty when plans change. So this idea of a "no plan plan," although a nice explanation to the perpetual question of "what are your plans after university?" that I was asked all year long, does not sit well with me.

I, in fact, do have plans. Plans that I have not adequately prepared for. Leaving to Asia in a year? No problem! We have a whole year to prepare! "Not so," said my thesis while repeatedly pummeling me in the face and leading me to a complete meltdown. Want to go to law school? Plenty of time to study! "I don't think so," declared my thesis with a sinister smile while slowly taking away my ability to feel...anything. Which left me with a month to study and write my LSAT after graduating and a month to plan this trip after that. Needless to say, my plans didn't work out. I am re-writing the LSAT and scrambling to complete my law school applications in the Philippines so I can return to school the September after I return from the trip. I'm feeling the pressure. What doesn't help is my addition to television shows and general inability to focus, coupled with my sincere love of sleeping. I find that fear of failure ends up being my biggest motivator in the end.

That being said, I am ABSOLUTELY PUMPED for the upcoming year. Travelling with my two very undramatic, caring and fun best friends is going to be a great interlude in the chapters of our lives and a way to stretch out the last amazing five years of university just a little bit more. My inevitable meltdown from the pressures I talked about above are being greatly encouraged by Ange, an aspiring writer for whom I am sure I will be able to provide entertaining subject material. While Ange plays the devil on my shoulder, I am banking on Tiana's incessant positive outlook on life to keep me grounded for just a little longer.

What will this trip be like for me? I am eager to visit all our IDS friends on the continent, who are placed in Thailand, Vietnam and China. I can't wait to meet Ange's family and experience the Philippines from a different perspective. I am absolutely itching to SCUBA DIVE anywhere and everywhere. My current goals are to see a WWII wreck, a giant turtle, and a whale shark. Perhaps I will make some sort of BINGO-like game out of this as my list grows. I want to climb mountains and volcanoes! I want to see what development is like in these countries and the work that is being done. I want to make new friends along the way. I want to sing my head off in karaoke! I really want to sit among the alumni at Hong Kong graduation as the girls receive their diplomas but I don't think this dream will be realized. I want to learn everything there is to learn. And I can't wait to bike across Cambodia with Ange and Mama Cruz, raising money for PEPY through Global agents for change.

While Ange is reconnecting with her roots at the beginning of the trip, I'm saving that for the end. After we part ways, I will be travelling to Cyprus to visit my Godfather who works there and then onward to Poland. While I am no stranger to travelling in Europe, in recent years the trips have become shorter and shorter and I have fallen out of touch with my roots. My level of Polish has decreased (I was horrified to be informed of my cute new accent on my last visit), and I have fallen out of touch with people that were extremely important to me growing up. It's time to get re-acquainted with the motherland. I will be in Poland for several months...doing something productive but undecided still, while hanging out with my grandpa, the rest of my family and friends.

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