Here’s the freshly minted and somewhat malleable plan. If you have suggestions, further contact details, or requests for me (i.e. bringing back something from somewhere, visiting someone interesting, or taking care of your secret mafia business from decades ago) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
WHERE: Limuru, Kenya
WHAT: Working with Brackenhurst, Woodland Star, and Plants for Life
WHY: I want to do all that I can to help my family transition into a wonderful school year. In helping Dr. Nicholson with a project for Plants for Life, I would like to (hopefully) travel around a few regions of the country to interact with some of the many cultures within Kenya. I want a quiet month in a familiar setting to meditate on decisions I was making a year ago, to create lots of art, play violin again, and to celebrate the state that I am in now.
SEPTEMBER: HOME PART II
WHERE: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
WHAT: Moving into a cute little bungalow with a dear friend who is an inspiring artist, angel, and adopted older sister. Adjusting to living in the Southern United States in preparation for moving to Emory in the fall of 2017. Finding employment, meeting the folksy and avant – garde, and playing three musketeers with Kate Dearman and Daniel Maqueda to take on life.
WHY: If you have knowledge of my more personal life, you’ll know that this place is a little haunted for me. I need to face some demons, grow up a little more, and learn to have fun while being a part of my generation back in the motherland.
UPDATE: I got very sick the night before flying, and had to cancel my flight. My work with Woodland Star and Brackenhurst became an internship, and I may start becoming more involved with Plants for Life.
I needed some more time to figure things out – I suddenly understood what people mean by “self-care.” I’m starting to work out again, stop being so self-critical, and play piano on a daily basis (while trying to remember to wash my hair regularly).
OCTOBER 18TH – DECEMBER 1ST: LADY OF THE WOODS
UPDATE: It’s looking like I’ll be working with Mary sometime in November now.
WHERE: Gilgil, Kenya
WHAT: Working with the mysterious Mary Coulson, her luscious medicinal gardens, and the beautiful children in her orphanage.
WHY: I need to give of myself. I may travel the world, “find myself,” and accomplish my dreams, but without learning to love, all of my endeavors mean nothing.
EARLY DECEMBER: FALLING UNDER SPELLS AND MOUNTAINEERING
WHERE: the wild places in Kenya
WHAT: Enjoying the bewitching hours, hiking, climbing the manes of mountains, and falling absolutely under the enchantment of Kenya, one last time. Maybe even playing with lion cubs for volunteer work in the Mara, but that’s not set in stone.
WHY: I love hiking, and I feel like I’m meant to go spend some time in the more rural parts of Kenya before I go off to university. I also want to pick up a little more of KiMasai, which sounds like African elvish. This is my farewell draft (for now) to the more raw, traditional, intoxicating magnetism of this country.
UPDATE: After the emotional intensity of Restart, I realized that there’s a lot more to life that what I originally understood it to be. I needed a safe place to process the things that I had been influenced by at Restart; it was best for me to stay at home, work on myself, and find a sense of grounding once again.
MID DECEMBER AND CHRISTMAS: A LITTLE HEARTBREAK
WHERE: Limuru, Kenya
WHAT: Spending Christmas with my family, and saying goodbye to them, for a time.
WHY: Every year, December is a sacred time for rest from our busy lives and reconnection with family. As I start to catch onto opportunities flying farther and farther away from home, I want to part meaningfully and lovingly from my family during this special season.
UPDATE: Surprise! I went to Spain for a week and got to see the sights of Granada with my cousin and older brother figure, Daniel Maqueda. It was amazing.
JANUARY: OUT OF AFRICA
WHERE: Zanzibar, Tanzania
WHAT: Walking in my father’s footsteps from the 1990s as he traversed Eastern Africa. Volunteering for a dolphin rehabilitation program and learning how to be confident in a bikini.
WHY: I’m fulfilling childhood dreams to nurture injured wildlife. It’s an amazing opportunity and I would be a fool not to take it.
UPDATE: Again, I was at home. I planned to go to India in January instead of going to Zanzibar, but ended up needing an additional month to get my visa. I also had an unfortunate encounter regarding some of my writing and the deep dark depths of my artistic interpretations of life. As a result, I went into hibernation, playing my cards close to my chest.
FEBRUARY, MARCH, AND APRIL: INDIA and/or Bali
UPDATE: I may be going to Bali for part of my yoga teacher training.
WHERE: An ashram in Goa, Kerala, or Rajasthan.
WHAT: Working towards my Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification by immersing myself in a yogic lifestyle. Studying not only the materialistic component of yoga (which is emphasized in Western culture), but learning the philosophic and spiritual facets of the practice. I’m also especially excited to engage with this specific different, vibrant, and fascinating culture.
WHY: I’ve been practicing yoga throughout high school. Although I haven’t been consistent with it in the past six months, it is something that has given me peace of spirit, and I would like to further pursue it in it’s purer form. As I’m interested in a life career associated with alternative medicine, having a certification will bring me closer to that goal. Also, I think this will be precious time spent in self – awakening.
UPDATE: I may have an incredible opportunity to work in Palestine as an interning journalist of sorts. My work would include interviewing and documenting the grassroots peace organizations there, specifically those of Palestinian women. At this point, I’m not sure if this is a definite possibility, so I’ll keep you posted!
UPDATE: I went to India for February, living at an ashram in Goa while putting in my hours for the first part of my yoga teacher training. March was spent at home, winding down from an amazing month of self-discovery and daily dal. Part way through the months I went on a little walkabout in Rwanda. April I voyaged to Bali, known as “Island of the Gods”, to finish the rigorous final part of my 500 yoga teacher training.
MAY, JUNE, JULY: EUROPE
WHERE: Definitely France, and idealistically Eastern Europe including Turkey and Croatia
WHAT: Woofing and Work Away
WHY: Europe is a bit of an enigma to me. I’d like to have a deeper experience with various European cultures while enjoying beautiful landscapes. I’ve studied the French language for a few years now, and want to become fluent before going to university.
UPDATE: Okay, so maybe not France. But definitely Cape Town, to live on the beach while working for Edutours. I will also be working via online communication with PiP (Politics is Personal), an Israeli-Palestinian NGO that presents stories of Israeli and Palestinian women in order to work towards greater solidarity.
LATE JULY: LA FIN
WHERE: Emory University, Oxford Georgia (the campus where they film Vampire Diaries)
WHAT: College orientation and figuring out my major (or two)!
UPDATE: I will be going to Canada for a mystery trip (stay tuned – it’s exciting!) and then heading to Los Angeles to be with my cousin and dearest friend, Daniel Maqueda. We’ll be gardening, doing yoga, hopefully ecstatically dancing, and in general just delving deep into some soul-healing.