How can this be true? Next summer will be the 10 year reunion for the class of 2002.
There is nothing like a high school reunion to remind you of a few things:
1. You are old
2. What are you doing with your life?!?!
3. You could probably lose a few pounds
Even if none of the above is true, just the prospect of a high school reunion will make you a believer.
My class currently has a Facebook group, it’s a great way to get in touch with everyone and start making plans. It’s also a great way to get a sneak preview of everyone else’s lives. From my basic research I have found that many people:
1.Have a steady job or career
2. Are engaged or married
3. Have kids or are pregnant
For a split second I felt a little worried, as I currently have none of the above going for me (unless you count my fur baby as a kid). Almost 9 years after high school, shouldn’t I have accomplished more than a college degree and
working for free volunteer teaching in a developing Latin American country?
After a little thought, my answer to this is definitely a “no”. My passion over the last 9 years has been to travel and see the world, and I think I’ve made choices in my education, career paths and life in general that have given me the opportunity to follow that passion.
I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and every highway,
And more, much more than this. I did it my way.
Here are a few of my favorite international travel memories that I wouldn’t change for the world:
Holland: I studied abroad at the University van Amsterdam. I frequented the Heineken Brewery, ate space cake, visited Edam, and experienced the Anne Frank house (the actual house where she lived, her real diary is still there)
Belgium: BEER, WAFFLES, CHOCOLATE, salsa dancing all night, visiting parliament all day (it was an interesting time in Brussels parliament, with Turkey applying to join the EU)
Singapore: TIGER BEER, Stuffed Panda bears and no peanut M&M’s in the Hong Kong airport, Sentosa Island and swimming in the ocean (what ocean is that anyway?) Singapore Slings in Raffels Hotel, and flaming shots in clubs that were way too cool for us.
India: Curry and poverty EVERYWHERE, Taj Mahal at sunrise and sunset. Amazing food and cricket at 3:00AM. Missed flights and extra nights in Mumbai. Culturally, spiritually and emotionally exhausted by the time we finally made it to London Heathrow.
Mexico: Tequila and sunshine. Food poisoning in Cancun. *One thing I would maybe change; drinking that unfiltered ice in those frozen margs.*
British Virgin Islands: (Tortola, Jost van Dyke, Anagada)
Camping on the beach, morning swims, no hot water (should have prepared me more for my year in Costa Rica!) snorkeling and full moon parties. Driving on the
wrong left side of the road, existing off of french fries, ramen noodles and bushwhackers. Ivan’s stress-free bar and Bomba’s Shack.
Canada: Girls road trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia! More Beer, men in plaid, hostel fun. Crossing the border at 4AM, moose all over the highway between Maine/Canada. Harassing the British guard. Learning the history of Halifax and Boston and why they still donate the big XMas tree for the Boston Common every year.
Ireland: This green country was mostly white, the cliffs of Moher looked like Alaska. Guinness brewery in Dublin with Irish Rob, lots of Jameson and Ham sandwiches everywhere. Free beer at The Thatch. Finally seeing green in Galway and all around Dingle. Wearing my Hunter Wellies every day.
And now there’s Costa Rica. 9 countries in 9 years, that’s what I’ve been up to thus far (with a college degree, a couple jobs, a few marathons, a lot of domestic travel, an incredible boyfriend, some amazing friendships and a few other life accomplishments thrown in there) . I think after this whole year away, I’m starting to crave a less nomadic lifestyle but we’ll see how long that lasts 🙂
For now in Costa Rica, Ross and I may not be following a traditional path, but we certainly are making a whole lot of memories, new friends and hopefully a difference in the lives of our little students. We’ll see what the rest of this year will bring.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson