It feels good to be back on US soil. I had an advantageous 17-hour layover in Los Angeles and used the time to escape the airport and catch up with a few friends. Fellow Alpha Chi Omega Audra and I had a fabulous lunch at BJ’s in the Westfield Mall. Then I caught up with John who gave me an awesome driving tour of Malibu. Now I see why celebs love it. It was so fun seeing a bit of the West Coast.
Now that I’m home, it’s definitely strange. I don’t have to translate restroom, trashcan, french fries and ketchup. All of the money is green and my wallet is already full of pennies. My last few weeks traveling around were hectic and exhausting, but I did almost everything I wanted to, including that fantastic bungy jump. I still want to go black water rafting through the Waitomo caves, push my limits in the eight to nine-hour Tongoriro Crossing hike, and actually go skiing in Wanaka. But you have to leave something to do on the next trip.
I wrote several weeks ago about what I want to do when I grow up. Now that I’ve completed my journey, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit that list. At new years I wanted:
1. Something publishing/writing related, perhaps editorial or photography as well
2. Travel and lifestyle subject areas (I’ve become obsessed with the non-fashion related sections of magazines here, clipping out recipes and saving tips)
3. Mixed media for sure, I love flipping and clipping, but clicking and tweeting can be fun too
4. Perhaps a stint in the baking/chocolate world to kill my incestuous sweet tooth for good, or just get more creative about satisfying it
5. Something with free time for sailing, if not potentially sailing related
6. Some opportunity to give back through non-profit work, working with kids, either professionally or volunteering
Now that I’ve been poking through the job market, had a few conversations about how to combine my skills and my dreams, I think this is still an important list. Media and writing have been my passions, and this trip has taught me to follow my instincts. I need to start making time for my own writing again, to go to yoga class regularly and to research my next big trip. And I know that somewhere there’s a good opportunity for me to settle down, get an apartment I can paint the bathroom hot pink, and dig my fingers into a job that I may not love, but that teaches me a lot. I’m ready to be home, to grow up just enough to have a life here.