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The last few weeks have been full of goodbyes and going away parties before my 'round the world travels. It started when Heather visited my work to drop off a sweatshirt I'd left behind and some mail that didn't get forwarded. She was going out of town for her job and so it would be the last time I'd see her before leaving. And then Eric took me out for a quesadilla lunch and to loot the storage room at work (please note: I did not actually steal anything although he tried to get me to take a box of cassette tapes). And...

I sometimes think the radio speaks to me. Like when I'm driving on the highway and in a good mood and all of a sudden Like a Prayer or Living on a Prayer comes on and I open all my windows and drive past my exit. Or like when I'm driving on the highway and I'm sad and a song that I've never heard before comes on that captures everything I'm feeling at that moment and I almost need to pull over because the tears start turning the road into a kaleidoscope. Like when I was driving home two Thanksgivings ago,...

After cleaning out everything from the bedroom at my mom's house it was time to tackle the attic. That's where the real treasures were: the stuff I threw into boxes after high school and after college like those piles of text books and papers I was convinced would be vital references later in life. Those went straight into the trash. And there were so many things I'd forgotten I had. Like a giant stuffed horse that was a mascot of out high school speech team (and my speech team sweatshirt)… And a turtle Mat gave me when he returned from Florida the summer...

I hate when people ask me how long I've been saving for my around the world trip. It's not their fault, it's just one of many in a string of basic questions to ask when you've found out that someone has quit their job to travel the world. Where are you going? Why did you decide to do this? When are you leaving? How long will you be gone? How long have you been saving? Often, the question is phrased more as a statement: "you must have saved for a long time." My usual response is to just mumble a "yeah" or...

Last year I started the massive project of sorting through my life. As I'm getting ready to leave for a year to travel I don't want to leave a mess and certainly don't want to come back to one. I still have so much stuff at my mom's place. Years and years worth of everything. It's amazing too because I have almost nothing from before 1999 when our house burned down. I couldn't even image how much I would have if not for that. A couple of Sundays ago I spent the entire day finishing up cleaning my old room. I...

I know I've hinted many times that my 30s are going to rock. And that I have big, huge, monumental, fantastically awesome plans. And now that everything is starting to come together and is pretty much officially official I can now announce it to the universe. I quit my job to travel the world! OK, so really I gave four months notice at my job and am going to travel what actually works out to be a very small portion of the world. But "I quit my job to travel the world" sounds more bad ass. So we'll go with it. My plan...