First!Posted: February 12, 2012
First entry. I never really know how to start these things. Do I pretend like this isn’t the first entry, and I’ve been at this for years? I also really have to think about how I want to come across. I don’t want to try too hard, but I also want to be impressive enough that my secret dream of being discovered via Anthony Bourdain’s StumbleUpon and then picked up for my own Travel Channel series could have a sliver of a chance of panning out. And I certainly don’t want to start on a tangent!
I am currently in the planning/paying/panicking stages of my next journey to Sri Lanka. I plan to do four weeks working with disadvantaged and at-risk youth and adults, followed by (my dream come true!!!!) four weeks at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (read: cutie patootie giant baby elephants). Finally, I will finish the trip in silence with a one-week Buddhist meditation retreat. This is The Dream, folks. Well, my dream. Voluntourism at its finest. Helping people? Check. Exploring a new country and culture? Check. ELEPHANTS?! UH, CHECK. Zen wisdom and powerful, Buddhist inner-peace? Check.
As much as this is The Dream, I am also very aware that there will be plenty of challenges… but I am hungry. I am ready to be challenged. I want to step completely out of my comfort zone and push my personal boundaries – be it physical, mental, or emotional. Every time I get to really thinking about spending over two-months abroad, virtually on my own, I become a bundle of nerves. I am excited and terrified all at once. I want to cry and laugh and get all of the annoying middle steps out of the way and just be there. I can’t believe it is really happening. I submitted most of the paperwork, and I’ve applied for my Sri Lanka visa. Here we go…