Pre- Journey Contemplation, Before Embarking On The Bonderman Fellowship
With the few minutes I have at the gate, I sit watching people walk by. Each with their own destinations and unique stories. My initial destination is a layover in LA, eventually to my first stop in Bali, Indonesia, but my story goes beyond that. Today commences a minimum of 8 months of spontaneity, freedom, and instinctual living with no plan. The good fortune I feel to be embarking on this journey is indescribable. It's incredible to think I've been given $20,000 to travel the world. To just be.
Though it is just starting, it really began three years ago. I remember the moment I dreamt of backpacking the world spontaneously and alone. After meeting a girl from Amsterdam, I came to the realization I had never met someone quite like her. I needed to see more. To feel more. To experience more.
Though so much has changed from three years ago, really not much has changed. I am still yearning for the same freedom, I am still hoping to explore different ways of living.
This journey is undoubtedly a privilege and a luxury. Any experience, where we spend time alone in foreign cultures and spaces, for however long, is highly beneficial. I think that it's imperative that we spend time getting to know ourselves, seeing how we got into this world, and getting a larger grasp of what it means to be human. And I am so fortunate to have that experience. Right now, the most important work I can do is work on myself.
How can I say I lived fully if I’ve only see one way of life? I want to see what will shock me, like my friend from Brazil who was shocked to see “ four -legged creatures” ( squirrels) walking amongst humans when she arrived in the United States. I want to be surprised, I want to be challenged, I want see what divides us, and what unites us.
With essentially none of it planned this journey will hinge on me trusting my gut. When else do you get to live your life purely off instinct? I’m excited to experiment with a way of life that is not dictated on planning and productivity. I'm excited to get in the swing of things, to drop into that confident travelers groove that I know only on a short-term basis.
The only real plan I have is a plan to take full advantage of this opportunity. I want to jump in fully, say yes to more than I say no, and experience everything I can. I will miss home, my community and familiar faces, undoubtedly. Every inch of excitement is followed by a touch of somberness for the people and memories I am leaving behind. I know I will experience challenges, with no real solution, besides to embrace the fact that there is no solution. But I am positive this is what I must do right now. As Mary Oliver said, " What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life “
With a whole bunch of gratitude, excitement and apprehension.