Adventures, Quests & Foreign Sands

Another post from July 2008. Coolest part? One of these things I wrote about actually did happen.

egyptindexSo, for the past few months, I’ve been setting the same three intentions. The first is about adventure. I want to go back to school next fall, I’ve felt decided on that for awhile. The meantime is the issue. I decided a few months ago that I’m not going to stay here for that time. I feel too stagnant and stuck, like I haven’t put myself out there in awhile, taken any big risks like I did back when I traveled to organic farms or moved to Seattle with no money. Those were difficult experiences, but also some of the deepest, most rewarding times I’ve lived through, really showed me what I was made of, challenged me and made me grow as a person. I miss it, the spirit of adventure, of seeing the world.

In aforementioned intention setting, I’ve just been putting it out there, daily, that I’d like the opportunity to do something wild, enriching and interesting. I crave meaningful, soul-enriching experience, to stretch myself far beyond my comfort zone, and so I’ve been trying to phrase it that way when I take those moments to put my desires out there. I have just over a year, and I want to have the experience that will be the best for my soul, for my personal growth, and hopefully will also have a humanitarian bent as well. Hence why one of my first thoughts was the Peace Corps, and then when that didn’t work, AmeriCorps. I’m still involved in several interviews for that option, and will see where that goes.

But in the last two weeks or so, I think I’ve found an option that totally fits the bill even better, but could be harder to pull off. I’ve only told a few people, because I wanted to get it a little more secure in my own mind, and let a bit of time lapse so I could make sure I wasn’t just temporarily crazy. Actually though, most of the best times of my life come from wild schemes that make me question my sanity, so it’s probably a good sign. So time has passed, and I’m still stuck on it, and ready to share it publicly.

So here is the deal: In the next year, I want to do two programs that involve international travel. The first is in Alexandria, Egypt. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Egypt. I mean, really, who hasn’t? It’s got a lot that I’m interested in. The program there is a ten-week course and internship in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), which would be such a great skill to have in terms of further foreign travel as life progresses. It also includes some cultural immersion, language classes (and learning languages is another thing I’ve definitely missed), and trips to the Pyramids and the Sphinx! This is like a long-time dream come true, and I’ve already applied and been accepted to the program that starts in late fall. Read more about it here. And that would just be the beginning.

After that, there’s another program I want to do. It’s called Latitudes (and I found it through looking at Leap Year, which I’m too old for, but anyone in late teens and early twenties should check out) and it involves a 12-week semester in India (or other countries if participants so choose) and then a solo internship anywhere in the world. India is another place I’ve always wanted to go, and the program just looks perfect. There are language lessons, humanitarian work, trekking in the Himilayas, and exposure to all the different spiritual practices in India. It also seems to me like a really well-structured program, group travel, sort of a really safe way to go somewhere really new, experience something really different and travel the world. Then there’s the solo internship, which is also somewhat guided, and I just think it’d all be rad. Not to mention I can get college credit for it all! Latitudes is a program through Carpe Diem International, loosely associated with Portland State University, and you can read about it here. I’ve already talked to people about the program and about financial aid opportunities.

I just think all of this is an opportunity of a lifetime that I might not have in a few years, and I don’t think I can pass it up. Everything I wrote about in those posts about artistic integrity, I believe also extends itself to life in general, and I’m going to take the leap. I think the experience would be invaluable, priceless, and also a huge help with my college application process.

So, I’m going to do my damnedest to make it happen.

It will mean saving money, applying for aid and fundraising aggressively. It will be difficult to pull off. But the longer people have known me, the more they know how much I like a good quest (to concerts I can’t possibly get to, writing retreats I can’t possibly afford, and the like). Sometimes I think I’m at my best when I’m trying to make something happen that seems completely impossible at its outset; it makes me brainstorm, push myself and take risks. This will definitely be the biggest of all the quests I’ve undertaken in the past, but hey I was looking for challenge. I needed a quixotic goal. I’m going to make it happen, through doggedly fierce determination, force of will, and some good old intention setting just in case that helps any.

As for the other two intentions, well, they’re not really fit for public consumption.

Just kidding.

Currently Listening:
“Ticks & Leeches” – TOOL – let me just say, though this song doesn’t perfectly fit this post at all. I LOVE to blast this song at full volume, and am psyched that this is the song that came up randomly. Here’s the words:

Ticks & Leeches

Suck and suck.
Suckin up all you can, suckin up all you can suck.
Workin up under my patience like a little tick.
Fat little parasite.

Suck me dry.
My blood is bruised and borrowed. You thieving bastards.
You have turned my blood cold and bitter,
beat my compassion black and blue.

Hope this is what you wanted.
Hope this is what you had in mind.
Cuz this is what you’re getting.
I hope you’re choking. I hope you choke on this.

Taken all I can, taken all I can, we(?) can take.
Taken all you can, taken all you can fuckin’ take
Got nothing left to give to you.
Blood suckin parasitic little tick/blood suckin parasitic little tick
Take what you want and then go.

Hope this is what you wanted.
Hope this is what you had in mind.
Cuz this is what you’re getting.

Suck me dry.
Is this what you wanted?
Is this what you had in mind?
Cuz this this is what you’re getting.
I hope you choke.

4 thoughts on “Adventures, Quests & Foreign Sands

  1. Uh yeah… definitely go for it all. If it is what makes your little ticker tock, then most definitely – go for it. There will be no regrets. You can always come back to the island and write ;^).It’s nice to ‘hear’ you so excited. Peace, Linda

  2. Ooooh, I’m so envious of your possibly being able to see Alexandria! Do you know that both sides of my family lived there for several generations, right up until the ’40s? In many ways it’s my ancestral homeland, yet I’ve never been. I hear Alexandria is a mere shadow of what it used to be Back in the Day, but I’m sure it still holds many fascinations nonetheless. India sounds like an amazing option too — I remember how excited you were when you told me about how your writing teacher(?) was going to spend some time there.

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