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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Perspective on Seattle

And people ask why I'm so excited to stop traveling and go home. But the further I go afield, the more I miss where I came from.

As they say, ain't nothin' in the world like... the northwest.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Moving on in the World!

And now that I'm done with Peace Corps, it's time to consider what comes next. The ever-present lure of Seattle is still there - don't worry, I'll be coming home eventually. But after coming all this way across the big blue ocean, it would be impossible to go all the way back without exploring just a little bit, no?

With a little cash in my pocket, a comfort with discomfort that I'll never have again, a 40l backpack and an irrepressible urge to get out, move around, and talk to new people, I'm hitting the road!
This bag, actually.
That handy little map above was made with scribblemaps.com and a pretty vague idea of what I'll actually be doing in each country I visit. After 2 years of submitting paperwork every time I left my village, I'm really looking forward to taking each day as a surprise and letting the enthusiasm of each new place determine where I'm going. But there are a few specifics I have to follow. Flights, for one. A wedding, for another. Here's a quick overview of where I'll be and what I'll be doing:

Slowly making my way by bush taxi across the country, I'll be visiting a few volunteers and seeing some sights and taking my time saying good-bye to the rest of the country. Somewhere around February 10th I plan to taxi over the border and head in to Bamako.

Some people say Mali's not entirely safe to travel in (I'm looking at you, US Embassy), but they also said the same things about Guinea. So... I'll take my chances. I'll start out at the Sleeping Camel, look up a few contacts I've made on couchsurfing, run with the hashers, and hopefully spend a while hiking out in the Dogon Country. As for the rest...? Well, that's the point. I'll find out when I get there.

I'll get in around 5:30am on February 26th. First thing: get a train and get the hell out of Casablanca. I'll see Marrakesh, Fez, Meknes, and... yeah. Morocco is the biggest blank so far. Looking forward to that!

Starting on March 5th, I get to kick it for three weeks with my old college roommate and best friend! Who could ask for more? There'll be a wedding, a trip to Petra and Jerusalem, hopefully some camels... 

And finally, the last leg! As of March 30th, I'll have one week with my friend Ana in Madrid, hanging out and reliving our college hey-days. After I've worn out my welcome with her, my dad will come out and join me for a southern Spain road trip. He's in charge of the itinerary. So far we'll be seeing the Alhambra and driving through the white villages of Andalucia. I'm going to make a push to checking out Cadiz, but since we'll be pressed for time, it's hard to say. 

That's pretty much my favorite thing about this trip. Everything is hard to say! I don't know where I'll be, I don't know what I'll be doing, I don't know where I'll be staying or who I'll be hanging out with (at least for the first half.) I just don't know! It's going to be GREAT.

Saying Goodbye to Peace Corps

Well, here it is! The end of my service! As of this moment, I have officially COS'd (Close of Service'd) and am a free agent of the world. I realize you have more or less no idea what my service has been like, since I failed miserably at updating this blog. Sorry guys. But safe to say, it's been a great time.

As part of the going-away process, another volunteer and I decided to spruce ourselves up and take some photos around the compound - enjoy the sights!
My sweet outfit was a going-away gift from my BFF at site. Thanks Djenab!
Please take note of the guards creeping in the background.
She once studied ballet and figure skating - can you tell? Girl knows how to pose!

Also LaRocha is tall.
The PC Bureau was intended to be a hotel, but it never happened. Please ignore the peeling paint.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Goodbye Koba

Saying goodbye to friends and family is always bittersweet. Exciting to be moving on but hard to leave loved ones behind.