An India Abroad: The Eat, Pray (To Eat More), Love (Everything I Eat) Sabbatical

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I’m making up for a lot of lost time. Before 2015 I’d never left the United States. I didn’t even have a passport. 2 years later I have a one-way flight to Southeast Asia, a hungry passport, an even hungrier belly, a budget, a carry-on sized closet, an indefinite end date, a loose itinerary and a “go where the wind takes me” spirit.

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The world is my oyster.

Vision Boards, Bucketlists, Mock Itineraries. It’s very easy to plan out your travel bucketlist…then shelf it for the ~future~ when you have your shit together. I have literally 1,000 hypothetical trips planned, budgeted and mapped out. If I have learned anything from this chaotic year, it is that a stable future isn’t promised.

 

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Recently put my money where my mouth is when I checked the Uyuni Salt Flats off of my travel bucket list. Only like 999 more to do.

Currently:
I’m ready for a career change.
I’m rapidly approaching 30 (8th Annual) 21.
I’m healthy.
I’m single (and okay with it).
I’m childless (and VERY okay with it).
I’m financially committed to student loans, but no house or car payments.
I have a friend who will also be a nomad this year (travel buddies).

So I am seizing the day and turning my bucket list into reality. Thus is born the “Eat, Eat, Eat” Southeast Asia Sabbatical.

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Trading the Gulf Coast for the Indian Coast.

Sure “finding myself” would be great, but this trip is about more.

I want to challenge stereotypes and false perceptions. Both others’ stereotypes about me and my own about the places I am visiting. Xenophobia must be fought with exposure.

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I am black. And Iceland is one of my favorite places thus far.

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This child grew up in the mountains of Peru. And she still was drawn to the toy like a magnet.

I want to fight the perception of travel as an impossible dream. I acknowledge my privilege to be able to travel. I also firmly believe ANYONE can do it if they truly want to and more importantly everyone SHOULD do it more, ESPECIALLY now when our universal intolerance is leading us to a tipping point.

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Travel Squad Goals: Different Backgrounds, Careers, Life Stages, Goals, Wealth, and Locations but we still manage to travel together at least once a year. If you want to do it, you can.

I want to reject this undercurrent of fear that pervades our lives. Because life is inherently dangerous no matter where you are. I can stay safe and put my dreams on hold or I can take a risk. I’m going to take a (calculated) risk. 🙂

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I am not a fan of heights. But I destroyed Angel’s Landing and it was one of the most satisfying hikes of my life because I conquered my fear of heights to complete it.

I want to step out of my comfort zone. I want to challenge myself to thrive in a completely new setting. To force myself to meet strangers. To try new activities, that I’ll probably fail at. To figure out how to communicate in a foreign land.

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Sometimes I get a little too comfortable and I have to turn things upside down.

I want to turn my passion for travel and the outdoors into a career. I don’t know what that ultimately will be, but I know I want to inspire others to do all of the above. And I can’t do it from my couch. And I’m hoping this blog can be a starting place.

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Not sponsored by Cotopaxi but would love to be.

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#ForcesOfNature

I want to improve my photography. I’ve been in a creative slump and I’m hoping a change of scenery and stepping out of my comfort zone will reignite my creativity. And hoping photography can be a tool to help me achieve the above goals!

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I know. I tried it.

BUT Honestly. Truly. I’m really looking forward to the food*.
*Except dog. I do not want to eat dog slash I’m really hoping that’s a stereotype I can bust.

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Give me your sweet, your spicy, 
Your varied ingredients yearning to be food, 
The beloved creation of your teeming kitchen. 
Send these, the delicious, butter-tossed, to me: 
I lift my lamp beside my mouth.

It is my INTENTION to blog consistently and keep everyone updated on my journey. Hopefully I can inspire someone, somewhere to travel more.

First stop: Singapore!

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