When I came back to the US at the end of June having spent 6 weeks in South America, I simply couldn’t fathom putting myself back to the daily grind. I thought it might be the typical post-vacation blues, but as July wore on I realized it wasn’t just that.
Don’t get me wrong — I love being a journalist and a web editor. I learned more in a single year as an Assistant Editor and nightlife blogger than I could have during 5 years in school, and I’m so thankful that I was employed straight out of college.
My alma mater, Northeastern University, puts its students on the fast track to a career. It’s the reason the university is world renowned, and why so many students choose to spend 5 years there. Sure, students at NU study abroad, go on summer dialogues, even co-op abroad, but the emphasis and strength of co-op is that it leads to employment… the day after you graduate. But after a summer of reflection, I’ve realized that because I spent the last 5 years focused completely on pursuing a life as a journalist, I never stopped to think about how much world there is to see, or how young I am to be jumping straight onto a career path.
And that’s not to say that Northeastern isn’t an incredible school. I am so thankful that I moved myself across the country to gain such an incredible education, at a university that prides itself on real world, hands-on experience.
But at 24, a year out of college, I had a sudden realization that I was too young to be settling down. For the first time in my life, I’m single with nobody to look out for but myself. I’m off of a lease and out of a job, I have nothing tying me down but a single storage unit in Middletown, CT. In other words, I’m unattached and unobliged, and that’s such an incredibly rare situation — one I may never find myself in again.
So I’m going back.
Starting October 1st, I’ll be participating in a four week, Spanish language traveling classroom program in Ecuador. I’ll travel to four cities throughout the country: Montañita, Manta, Quito and Cuenca, spending a week in each taking 4 hours of Spanish a day and immersed in the culture in three separate home-stays. In addition to twenty hours of Spanish a week, I’ll be taking surfing, salsa, and cooking lessons, trekking to volcanoes, snorkeling off the Isla de Plata, relaxing in hot springs, whale watching, and even paragliding.
Then, starting at the end of October, I’ll spend the rest of 2012 — 9 weeks — making my through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. My itinerary isn’t completely solidified, but I think it’s going to stay that way. I loved the six weeks I spent on the continent in May and June, but not having flexibility in my travel plans was tough, and I can’t wait to arrive in certain cities and decide to spend a few extra days there, just because.
So here’s to more world travels and adventure — I can’t wait to document them all here!