The Return: (North) ‘Merica

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Well, it’s late July.  Not sure exactly how time travels so quickly but if we could monetize that speed none of us would need to work ever again.  In this short time, I realized a few things.  First, I kinda sorta needed a job.  Second, a shower and haircut were imminent.  And third, I was BACK.  But what was this strange new world, (North) America?  Whatever it was, it was very welcoming.  In case you haven’t already seen the video, here it is.

For the first few weeks, it was a surreal and very glossy view.  Nothing seemed to fit reality.  Half of my heart and mind sat here at home while the other sat wondering why his twin had left him in South America.  So many incredible memories still do sit down there.  In between jagged peaks and flowing valleys and rushing rivers.  I don’t think I was struggling to come to grips with the realities back home because I was afraid of anything, I was actually excited to start work again.

No, there’s something else.  There’s something about a place that can have such a big impact on who you are and become.  I lived among 6 countries in South America and the Caribbean for 5 months.  I spent 248 hours in some form of transportation.  I visited 27 cities, towns, and villages.  Over 200 miles of hiking trails, roadsides, and city streets were crept across by tired feet.  I took nearly 10,000 pictures and videos.  But does any of this mean anything?

This was always an interesting question I tried to answer, what happens after the trip? I’m still not quite sure how to answer it, but I think I’ve come along a bit further than where my thoughts were on April 9th.  More than ever, it’s about people and how I decide to interact.  Making the most of every moment.  Appreciating EVERYTHING you have.  Because you never know when you might drop everything and search for 5 months for those very things you missed so much right under your nose.  It’s about spending life with the people and things that mean more to you than anything else.  It’s a cliche, but for a good reason.  I knew the cliche before.  Now I feel it.

 

23 Days

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23. Don’t be afraid of trying. Ask the shy questions, take the foolish leaps, and definitely reach for the dreams that others call risky. It doesn’t matter. Just do it. Eventually it will pay off, either as a lesson or a memorable moment.

I would use this trip as the example. I was scared at every step, but I was certain that it was what I wanted and now I sit here in a hostel happily recalling the memories of a lifetime. It doesn’t need to be this dramatic though. Just trying something new such as taking a different route home from work, walking in your neighborhood, or saying hello to the people working in a supermarket you frequent are great ways to try something.

But don’t take my word for this, try it for yourself and maybe, just maybe we’ll have more to enjoy 🙂

Realization

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For those of you who have not worked in the professional services industry before, realization is the profitability of projects that a company is engaged to perform.  In more personal terms, realization is the point at which you are fully aware that something has become a fact or when you achieve something desired or anticipated.  Of course, you all knew that already, but I say that for a reason.  That reason is what my recent posts have been leading up to, which is this trip to South America.  Today, one of my goals will come to a realization point as I am flying to Peru and will not return from this southern continent until May 2017.  This trip is the realization of a long awaiting dream and as you can imagine, there are plenty of mixed emotions.  Anxiousness and pure excitement are just a few.

Just one week separates me from the day I quit my job but it also feels as thought it were just yesterday.  Stopping my life to make a trip like this hasn’t been easy, but it’s been much more manageable thanks to some special people in my life, including my girlfriend, family, and some close friends.  I’ve had some great moments with people I consider important in my life in the last week and it’s a fortunate feeling to have seen most of them.  To the rest I could not have one final hoorah with, I’m certain that these 6 months will pass ever so quickly!  But don’t forget that I will miss you all very much.  When I step on that plane in a few short hours, I know that it will be the beginning of something great and I appreciate all of those who have been a part of my story along the way.

Keep up for more tips and tricks on traveling abroad!

Taka

 

Thailand – Taking Chances

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So I began with some difficulty in finding the right way to tell the lessons and stories of Thailand, so I decided I won’t do it in this post. I’ll spread the love to a series of posts! That way we can all enjoy it over and over again! 😀 So without further ado, here is part one of Thailand.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  A wise man once said this and I strongly believe it.  When I made it up in my mind to travel to Thailand, I had many worried friends and family asking me if it was the best idea to go to a country half a world away without knowing the language or culture very well.  I’ll admit, it’s a good question.  I mean, it’s not every day that you just decide to up and go to Thailand.  But it’s a place I desperately wanted to see and I took a chance to take the trip.

And boy am I glad I did!  This gamble ended up being one of the most rewarding two weeks of my life and I can’t wait to do it again!  The sights, sounds, and smells of Thailand are now insatiable for me and I know that I’ll have to return.  Looking back on it now, the thought of questioning this trip seems so silly.  I could have missed out on one of the best experiences of my life because of fear.  It’s a common thing that we all face, but it can block us from reaching some of the best parts of our lives, and that’s why I’m telling you to take a chance.

I’m not saying you should book a ticket to Thailand right now.  Well, you should, but that’s not really the point.  The point is that taking chances can lead to some of the most exhilarating and satisfying chapters of your life if you have the courage to leap into them.

It all starts with small acts of taking a chance.  It may be talking to a cute guy/girl at the end of the bar, or taking a trip to a place you’ve never been to before, or learning a language you’ve always wanted to speak.  Taking chances and trying new things can open up the whole world to you and that’s where your life and really living your life meet.

As I traveled around Thailand for those two weeks learning to cook Thai food in Bangkok, lighting lanterns into the sky in Chiang Mai, riding motorbikes between waterfalls, canyons, and hot springs in Pai, living among elephants in Surin, and meeting amazing people all along the way, I realized that what I’ve just been mentioning couldn’t be more true.  Trying new things, although scary and sometimes overwhelming, can lead to the most amazing experiences of our lives.  And they can also remind us of our younger more innocent days when everything was new to us and every day was a new experience for us to conquer.

With that in mind I hope that you’ll conquer your own fears and take that new Spanish class, start a conversation with that cute guy or girl, or maybe, just maybe, you’ll even take a trip to Thailand and discover something incredible.

Cooking class

Cooking class

Loi Krathong - Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong – Chiang Mai

Lights, camera, lanterns!

Lights, camera, lanterns!

Motorbiking in the countryside

Motorbiking in the countryside

Elephants

Elephants

Elephants numero dos!

Elephants numero dos!

Mahout games

Mahout games

Building a swing

Building a swing