Chicken Little’s Big Adventure

Before the IED-like results of this year’s presidential election and the chaos that has ensued, I was prepping myself for a big reveal that I planned to develop through the medium of this blog over the coming year or so. With Trump having won the election, I was forced to pause for moment to consider what it means to be American, how my own apathy may have contributed to his victory (don’t worry, I voted for Clinton!), and what my responsibilities are for the coming years. After several of weeks of intensive self-care and introspection, I have decided that honoring my original intention and moving ahead with my plans is one of the most important things that I can do for myself right now. In many ways, I will serve my country better as a more fully realized version of myself than the one that has been floating around since I moved to California. I may express some of my internal hopes and fears (for the world and for my country) in a later blog post, but for the moment, just know that I am still processing the election results and trying to figure out where I fit in, like so many others of you.

As the title of this post would suggest, I am in the midst of planning a BIG ADVENTURE for myself that I’m looking to embark upon between next fall and the following spring. Ideally, this adventure will start in Australia, continue on to New Zealand, up through southeast Asia, and on to Europe. There is no projected end date; I’m looking to travel as long as I can comfortably manage to do so. But I would also like to situate myself so that resettling in Europe is a possibility. Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid and Barcelona are on the list of candidates.

Since coming to Los Angeles, I have had to ask myself what it is that I really want from life. What is it that speaks to me? What makes me feel alive? I’ve returned time and time again to the most formative and existence-affirming moments in my life, and most of them include travel. I love navigating the unknown of distant lands, stumbling through and then easing into foreign tongues, and relishing the sensation of otherness being thrust upon me in beautiful and sometimes challenging ways. I think of how fortunate I was to have spent time in Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Rabat (Morocco), and Tel Aviv between the ages of sixteen and twenty-three. I think about how awake I felt on those adventures, and how much of the last couple of years have felt a bit like sleepwalking. Since sleepwalking seems to be the norm these days, particularly in a town like Los Angeles, it is hard to escape such a mindset in this environment.

In order to make this adventure a reality, I need to establish for myself a couple of streams of income to ensure that I don’t starve (or have to come home early). Right now, the things that seem most reasonably likely to keep me housed are:

  • Hospitality work (restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars)
  • Clerical (word processing, data entry, proofreading, etc.)
  • Teaching English
  • Writing (essays, articles, this blog, and my books)
  • Ceramics

Since I’ve tried teaching English abroad without any prior experience, I’d like to get trained/qualified before trying to do so again. This will take a little time and money. The last two items on the list are, perhaps, the most farfetched, simply because it generally takes a while to get people to pay you for your writing, and I would need access to a ceramics studio, which will not always be possible.

The other thing I have to think about is budget, factoring in the things I’ll have to buy or pay for before I go. I’d like to have about $10,000 saved up before I go, and I’ll need to factor in the costs of:

  • A good hiking backpack (recommendations welcome!)
  • Storage unit for whatever I can’t or won’t sell
  • Virtual phone number
  • A new external hard drive to back up computer
  • A new iPhone for pictures/social media management
  • TESOL/TEFL certification

So many other factors will probably come into play over the next year, but I with the right amount of discipline, I know that I can make something happen!

Chicken Little, signing off.

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