Contemplating the Unknown…

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So far, I’ve received  an overwhelming amount of encouragement from everyone who has heard about my trip. It’s certainly a great feeling to see people’s faces light up with excitement when I give them the full details of my project and my counties. Some common feedback and questions that I often get from people is “Aren’t you nervous about what you’ll find in the countries?” and “OMG, aren’t you scared being alone for a year”. I often don’t how to respond to the first question because I honestly don’t feel nervous at all. Maybe it’s because I have studied abroad a couple of times or maybe I haven’t fully grasped the idea of traveling around the world for a year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the year thats ahead of me and I guess the reason I’m not nervous is because the Watson is an experiential project that can’t be predicted prior to arrival. In a sense if I can anticipate everything that would happen throughout the year then I wouldn’t really gain anything from it. With that being said, the only thing I’m truly nervous about is the logistical aspects of traveling and the challenges they bring. For instance, I often imagine myself being stuck at an airport because I can’t be granted a visa or better yet not finding a location to do my project. I believe I’ll definitely be able to deal challenges as they come and I believe that also applies to the first question people ask me when I tell them about my project.

With regards to the second common question, which is “OMG, aren’t you scared being alone for a year”, I am 100% certain that I wouldn’t be alone. I know I am going to meet amazing individuals who will make my stay in each country absolutely worth it. I contemplated with that question a lot when I first traveled to South Africa and it never happened like I imagined. In South Africa, I spent about a month in a rural area where people barely spoke any english and I can honestly say that I had the best time in the rural area. So I definitely believe being alone would not be a challenge for me, I’ve learned to be resourceful over the years and I always find a way to get the best out of situations. Additionally, I know my family and friends wholeheartedly support my journey and I know that the memories and I support I have from everyone will definitely keep me comfortable if I ever end up alone.

On another note, people have been pretty adamant that I post pictures often. I will absolute do that when possible. The only challenge is that I have a bad habit of “going native” where I get very involved with new cultures and people that I tend to forget I’m an outsider. With that being said, I know being are very interested in what I will discover and learn so I promise to make blog posts often and also take lots of pictures to make everyone happy :).

Packing Fails


After a lengthy search for a spacious travel backpack, I settled on an Osprey Farppint 70. I still have no idea how to pack for a year but I’ve been taking several measures to better myself. I’ve made a list of items that are absolutely necessary. I’ve also purchased the  Eagle Creek pack-it cubes to help me limit and organize my clothes.

I decided to do trials of packing to check if I can fit everything into the cubes and the backpack. I can tell you I failed miserably but definitely learned a lot. For instance. I’m kidding myself if I think I really need 2 giant hoodies and 4 pairs of jeans. That was just trial one.

For trial 2, I cut a significant number of items out of the list. This helped fit the majority of the clothes but I didn’t account any space for my shoes. Speaking of which I can’t decide whether I need a hiking shoe or not. Nevertheless I still have about 6 weeks left so I’m pretty sure I’m going to figure it out or else…

Akwaaba (Welcome)

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Dandelions are usually thought of as weeds but I think they stand for the many possibilities the future holds. I took this picture in a rural South African community where I was studying community health. Like everyone does, I made a wish and blew the seeds away. My wish was to someday get the opportunity to travel to places like South Africa where I can learn more about myself through my engagement with others. Little did I know that in a matter of a year, I will be preparing for another life changing journey. I know there are many challenges  waiting for me out there. Regardless, I am as open as ever for these experiences as they will impact my life in amazing ways. Its like my grandmother always used to say “If you don’t get lost, you’ll never learn”. I will make sure to keep this virtual notepad updated with details and updates of my journey as they come.