As I feverishly get organized and prepared to start this journey, I feel the need to take a moment of pause to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to take this trip. I am SO grateful for this opportunity to take a year off from working to see the world and discover my inner Self throughout this adventure. If it weren’t for my amazing good fortune of having parents who worked incredibly hard to buy real estate in San Francisco decades ago, I never would have the ability to leave this amazing city. As I travel around the world for a year, I will alway come back to gratitude for my life situation. While on long, sticky bus rides to who-knows-where, while suffering through stomach sicknesses, through all the ups and downs along the way- I must continually express how grateful I am for these experiences. I am also grateful for my good health, friends and family, teachers who inspire me, my sense of adventure and the faith I have that getting out of my comfort zone to face the unknown while overseas is exactly what I need. Finally, I am extremely grateful to be born and raised in San Francisco – to be continually exposed to a wide variety of cultures and to live in such a beautiful place. It’s reassuring to know that I have such a vibrant home to return to, and for that I am grateful.
I have a bucket list of goals for this trip around the world; some are more inwardly-based while others fall into a more tangible catagory of ‘things to see and do while on my trip’. While I feel a strong need to be flexible enough to let the wind blow be where it wants me to be, I do have some objectives that I hope to obtain. First of all, I don’t want to be constantly moving- I want to experience the cultures I visit instead of simply passing through as a tourist. I hope to build a spiritual practice based upon gratitude, devotion, discipline and contentment (among many other principles I will come to know throughout the journey). Finally, I want to show compassion and kindness to everyone I meet along the way and to give of myself instead of simply taking away.
I want to get to know an elephant in Thailand. I want to explore a tropical rainforest where tigers and cobras live. I want to get a long tube ride at Desert Point. I want to dance on the beach til the sun comes up. I want to get better at arm balances. I want to see the Himilayas. I want to visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. I want to see the Ganges and maybe even take the plunge at Varanasi. I want to live in an ashram. I want to go on safari. I want to see the Hagia Sophia. I want explore the islands of Croatia. I want to stay in a small village in Italy. I want to surf in Morocco and Ireland and snowboard in Switzerland. I want to see the aurora borealis. I want to dance the night away in Colombia and see waterfalls in Venezuela. I want to experience Carnaval in Brazil and ride horses in Argentina. I want to stay at that little village in Chile and ride perfect waves day after day. I want to explore the Gold Coast. I want to live in a camper in New Zealand. I want to scuba dive in Fiji.
I really want to learn to breathe.
Wow, that’s a ridiculous bucket list ! I’d be grateful to do any one of those things…