Well I guess that the fact that I’m posting this means that I’m officially part of the blogging world…is that even a thing? I decided to set up my blog now, even though I am not technically leaving for my gap year until October, because (1) I want enough time to share the link with everyone before I leave, and (2) my family is taking some fun trips this summer, so I might as well share those too!
We’ve been working really hard to get all the logistics planned for our impending departure…so I decided to do my part and sit here and write to y’all. HA! But it really has been extremely exciting to plan for my gap year. As all of my friends are stressing out about move-in days, dorm furnishings and orientation, I’ve been thinking about visas, 15 hour flights, and mosquito netting. A few days ago, I went to take the official photographs that are required when you apply for a visa, and it really hit me. While all the people I’ve spent the last 4 years with are studying, pulling all-nighters, and maybe even partying (gasp!), I’ll be living in dirt-floor houses with no electricity, teaching kids the importance of education and medicine, and brushing my teeth with bottled water.
Funny story: We were talking about how Tanzania has running water, but that it’s not potable (meaning you can wash with it, but not ingest it) at dinner one night a few weeks ago. Part of this discussion included my mom and I laughing about how goofy we are going to look taking a shower without getting our faces wet, and then washing my face with a bottle of water! A few days later, my mom called up to my brother, Aidan, in the shower, asking him what was taking so long. He calls down, exasperated, “Gosh mom…I was practicing for Africa!” As foolish as it seems that he’d practice taking a shower without getting his face wet, it honestly is a good representation of how I’ve started to feel recently about this whole experience. It’s becoming more real that I won’t be able to run out and pick up a jar of peanut butter when I really just want some, or that I won’t be able to text my girls and make plans to hang out that night. It’ll be an entirely different experience day-to-day, but I kind of can’t wait to be uprooted and dropped in a new country with new customs and a new language and to find my way.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for ANYTHING in my entire life. I’ve always had an adventurous spirit, but I never thought that when I told my mom that I “might be interested in that gap year thing” that it would have really come together. It’s a little crazy…I know…but I’m ready, and can’t wait to take you all on my adventure with me (by following my blog, of course!). I’m new to this blog thing, but the sidebar that allows for you to enter your email is the easiest way to keep up with what I’m doing. You should receive an email when I put up a new post, or you could just check back here every once in a while. If you’d like to send me personal letters or emails while I’m away, I’d greatly appreciate that. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will provide a mailing address on here (if that’s a possibility) depending on where we are.
As I finalize this (incredibly disjointed) post, I want to leave a quote here that has inspired me, and may inspire you in your everyday adventures as well:
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler
Kwa heri (that’s goodbye in Swahili)