We still haven't figured out our personal going away party strategy but I am having a party with everyone from work on Friday, April 16. Check out the invite.
REPOSTED from Facebook:
We're in different stages of telling people, but Brandon and I are leaving Seattle on April 20 to head East and then eventually fly out ~mid May to Europe and then India for 6 months. This is something I've wanted to do since high school -- travel and live abroad for a while. At work, someone mentioned this was a very "Millenial" move on my part -- to give up a stable life, good paying job, just for adventure and self-exploration. It's something I need to do, to refocus my energy on what's important to me, reconnect with social justice movements, and upon return, find/build community.
I'm seeking your help as my int'l community, to let me know if there's anyone we can stay with in the cities below, people we should connect with, or while in India, any projects/groups I can work with (if they're looking for it there, on the ground).
April 20 - Leave Seattle, arrive in MT somewhere
April 21 - S. Dakota!
April 22 - 25 - Twin Cities (Aaron, Chris!!!)
April 25 - 28 - Chicago
April 28 - May 3 - Cincinnati
May 3 - 5 - Columbus
May 5 - 10 - SE Massachusetts/Somerset/Providence RI
May 10 - 16 - Boston & other New England road trips
May 16 - 19 - NYC
May 19 - Fly out to Europe
May 20 - 24 - Paris (looking for a place to crash!!)
May 24 - 29 - Barcelona & S. France (looking for places to crash!!)
May 29 - June 3 - Lisbon / S. Portugal (ditto - crash places - Laura - your friend?)
June 3 - 10 - Italy (Rome, Florence, Siena - seeking suggestions - and places to crash)
June 10 - 13 - Amsterdam (crash place?)
June 15 - Fly to Delhi
Once we hit India our itinerary isn't very firm. We plan on heading north for half the time (Manali, Rishikesh, Dharamsala, maybe Ladakh). Then for the 2nd half, drop down through Rajastan and then to Goa/Kerala. We plan on flying back to the US in December, barring illness, or a whim to extend our trip and head to Thailand/the rest of SE Asia. When we get back, we plan on moving to Vermont for a while so I can take classes at the Yestermorrow Design/Build school. Of course, all plans are subject to change.
That's it. Crazy stuff.
Seattle folks - I'm going to miss you. Boston/Northeast folks - am glad I'll be in the area again. I now have a West Coast driving mentality (if it's within 4 hours it's close!!). Can't wait to be close again.
FINALLY - I'm going to do the blog thing -- I have my own domain: www.valeriecosta.com if you want to see what we're up to.
The weekends are now filled with errand-running and packing. B. and I decided to pack as much as we can as early as possible, so we can assess how much we can fit in the car vs. ship. We're also selling/giving away all of our furniture so if you're in the market for something, let me know. I welcome the minimizing--cleaning house every few years is refreshing.
I spent the morning/early afternoon at the Senior Services Board of Directors retreat. Typically I've approached these as a necessary part of my job but a real dent in my weekend. Today was surprisingly high energy and exciting -- certainly not a waste of my day. As I'm winding down and saying goodbyes to everyone at work, I realize how much I like the Board and will miss them as well.
One of the many lessons I've learned (ha) is to always embrace a locale and the people there as if I'm going to stay. I never really felt like I was going to stay in Seattle and hence didn't put as much effort as I should have to make friends and connect with people. As I look back at how I could have done my job better I realize that I would have been happier if I spent more of my time building relationships, instead of caving to my inner introvert. oh well. Yet it's those relationships that make me feel more connected and content-- something I felt today.
Holy crap. I finally gave my notice at work. Brandon and I have been planning on traveling for a while, but only now are we in a place where we can leave. It's incredibly exciting, anxiety-provoking, and emotionally challenging all at the same time.
I've wanted to travel and live overseas since my teens. In college I had hoped to study abroad but didn't have the money to survive when I was there (how was I going to feed myself?). After graduating, I had too much debt and couldn't find a position overseas other than the typical English teaching gig (I wasn't interested at the time). Now I've paid off all my bills and have enough saved to travel for a while. It's time -- no house, no kids, good health (knock on wood).
More important than the logistical pieces falling in place, I feel like it's time for me to reconnect with the things in life that feel more authentic. I was much more "politically" active in Boston and hope be more engaged moving forward. I miss the sense of community I felt there as well. Here in Seattle my confidence is stronger and I've become more adventurous. I want to spend more time outdoors, take care of my body, and clear my mind. Life is too short to wait to do these things.
Val's Life and Travel Blog
In April 2010 I left the security of my FT job to travel for eight months -- across the US, Europe, India, and SE Asia. I spent six weeks in Spain in Feb 2013 and experimented with working remotely for an extended period of time. (It worked!) This blog is mostly about my travels and occasional life updates.
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