World Map of My Route

World Map of My Route
Fall Semester 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sea Legs

We are sailing closer to Spain each day. My new passion is trip planning. The library has books for each port that we can check out and my roomy and I both brought a decent amount (whattup half-price books?!). Soo anyway, we booked a trip from Cadiz via train to Seville and then onto Barcelona by plane. It was only 135 Euros which was better than I anticipated for a round-trip. Another big group is traveling to Ibiza, but we decided against it since it seems to be a trip dedicated to overpriced cover fees and drunken nights.

Classes started yesterday and we’re pretty much just on the ship trying to entertain ourselves. Everything a person would normally do is 10x as fun because the waves rock you 24/7, even while you're trying to sleep at night. Let's just say Ping-Pong on the top deck is highly entertaining...and we play a lot of cards/apples to apples in massive groups. I feel like I'm getting my imagination back! We hardly drink ever bc its pretty strict, alcohol is really only available at dinner and on PUB NIGHTS and even then its a 5drink limit of beer/wine and its $3.50per glass, so I’ve only had one glass of Red La Terre.

The boat is made up of such a diverse mix, which I really appreciate. We met these boys from Mexico City who are hilarious. They were trying to teach us phrases for Spain. I learned the word “pedo”, meaning “to fart” which is supposedly substituted for most everything making phrases like “are you drunk → are you fart” or “what’s up → what’s fart” haha. I’ve also founded a co-ed “tanning club”, we meet daily between classes to fight global warming by soaking the UV-Rays into our own skin. Lemme tell you, self-sacrifice is not an easy thing!

My classes thus far are SO interesting. I am taking: Sustainable Communities, Social Issues of the Contemporary World, Global Studies (which everyone is required to take), World Poetry (obsessed), and Poverty and Economic development. I feel like this is an ideal schedule to expose me to new studies and prepare me further for the PeaceCorps.

BBM- mypin: 3229A752
*I can be reached at either of these most anytime, free of charge!

In closing I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from a poem I discovered this afternoon, it perfectly describes my experience thus far:

Here is a coast; Here is a harbor;
here after a meager diet of horizon,
is some scenery.
-Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Never Resist the Unfamiliar

Trust me, its paradise.

This is where the hungry come to feed.

For mine is a generation that circles the globe in search of something we haven’t tried before.

So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar.

Never fail to be polite-and never over stay your welcome.

Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience.

And if it hurts, you know what, it is probably worth it.

You hope and you dream, but you never believe that something is gonna happen for you- Not like it does in the movies;

And when it actually does, you expect it to feel different.

More visceral, more real.

I was waiting for it to hit me.

Hit me.

Bon Voyage friends and family! I live on the Deep Blue Sea.

I’m Sailing Awayyy…Couldn’t be happier. We all sat on the upper deck (6) and watched the anchor come up/the “PILOT” boat lead us out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. My life, simply put, is just surreal right now. We’re expected to hit Spain in appx: 7 days. Until then I plan to spend my afternoons reading, practicing Yoga, learning, writing, making new friends and wave watching (a new favourite activity). I really hope to keep an open mind and “suck in the experience” The next 109 days may very well be the best, most invigorating days of my life. I plan to make the absolute most of each moment. The beauty of the open water, feelings of joy, thankfulness and many, many blessings overwhelm me.

I spent a few days and 2 nights in Canada. If I like the other ports half as much as I enjoyed Canada I am about to lose my mind! We ate delicious lobster and seafood chowder each night at dinner. I spent the afternoons tasting authentic Canadian food- Donair (a gyro made of beef rather than the traditional lamb and covered in sweet garlic sauce) and Poutines (hand cut French fries drizzled with cheese curds and gravy) Mmmmmm! We also walked about Halifax and shopped around. Rumor has is Halifax is home to the largest number of bars within a 10-mile radius! This of course made for eventful nights. It somewhat reminded me of a glorified Oxford as it is home to 4 colleges.

My roommate Molly, is just fabulous. We have a mild-obsession with Archbishop Desmond TuTu, who we actually have the privilege of sailing around the globe with. We’ve met an awesome group of people and we’re all planning to travel to Seville in a massive group, on a train, then onto Barcelona via plane.

Today was orientation, we woke up early and had breakfast. We spend the majority of the day in seminars/group discussion forums. Later in the evening we signed up for clubs. The ship is filled with such a rich melting pot of children, college students and graduates, professors and of course the cherished “life-long-learners”. Essentially these are people, sometimes older couples who sail with us, take classes and visit ports, only for no credit. One woman, named Heather, came all by herself- the trip is was a gift to herself for her 70th birthday! Adorable. Soon we will have an opportunity to be “adopted” by a LLL and we will develop a bond throughout the course of the trip (no worries Gram & Pop! You’re still my #1) =)

We had our first actual TuTu encounter today! It was phenomenal. He is the most precious guy you will ever lay eyes on. His entire demeanor is full of wisdom and grace. Here are some quotes Desmond left us with today that I took note of (I carry a journal basically always now, it’s a must).

“Go on believing that you can change the world”

“There is something about us, about the human spirit, that eventually says ‘I am made for something better than this.’ “

“I join you because…you give me a high!”

Ahh. Am I a lucky duck or WHAT?! I’ll write more and hopefully post pics soon. Love and blessings to everyone and thanks for reading!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Every New Beginning...

The date is approaching, I'm down to just days now. 16 to be exact. No doubt this anticipation is beginning to interrupt my regular sleep schedule. I'm trying to stay as regular as possible because I know it will be a lost cause once we set sail. I will be traveling Eastward for the next 4 months beginning August 27th. Essentially this means I will be losing hours the entire voyage. I leave for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 25th with a layover in Philly. My sister, Morgan, will be intercepting me for a goodbye-lunch date. From there I will check in at my first hostel in Halifax and probably explore until my roommate joins me later that evening. The overall itinerary is as follows:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Cadiz, Spain
Casablanca, Morocco
Takoradi, Ghana
Cape Town, South Africa
Port Louis, Mauritius
Chennai, India
NEW PORT:Singapore
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Hong Kong / Shanghai, China
Yokohama / Kobe, Japan
Honolulu / Hilo, Hawaii, USA
San Diego, California, USA

In other words, my life is about to take a crazy turn. I am SO thankful for this opportunity and absolutely cannot wait to turn the next big page of my life. Wish me luck and-- Bon Voyage!