Post-Netherlands Backpacking Trip

Traveling Goals

I’ve got 40 minutes in a cafe to publish a new post. Challenge extended, and accepted.

While I’m gallivanting all over the world, often forgetting which day it is, I continue to have sources of stress that anchor me back in reality. I’d like to ignore these stresses, and to be honest, most days I do.

Which is how I end up here – in a cafe in some obscure town, for the umpteenth time, trying to accomplish something on my never-ending task list. I still need to get my visa for Vietnam. I have to write a reflection piece for my au pair agency, which I really should have finished ages ago. And I do need to figure out my next step after I’m done backpacking around, whether it’s graduate school, the Peace Corps, or finding a job working with refugees.

These are all pretty urgent tasks, but I figure it’s more realistic for me to complete a new post. I’ve been meaning to turn this blog into a weekly venture, and maybe I’ll actually follow through if I give myself imagined, urgent deadlines.

Yikes, ten minutes left. Here we go, no more distractions.

One thing that has been on my mind (a lot) recently is the purpose of my traveling. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity, so I’m not complaining in the least. But seriously, what am I doing here?

I have actually thought about this question quite a bit. I’ve done some reflecting, and I do have a vague idea of what I want to accomplish while staying abroad. The idea now is to make this brainstorming list public, so that I can be held accountable to these goals.

-I need to develop some sort of daily routine (which should ideally include meditating, writing, reading, and some form of exercise). Because otherwise, there really is no structure or stability to my days.

-I also want to try to do at least one daring act every day.

-There are some things I’m trying to learn, like how to embrace the chaos of life. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m actually doing pretty well on this front.

-In terms of exercise, there are some very specific ones I want to start up again (though I don’t know how realistic these are while I’m traveling), including rock climbing and surfing.

-I also want to become a better storyteller.

-And I’d like to become a better dancer. Thanks to my latest host, Ernesto, I’m on my way to learning the California shuffle! (ironically taking the California shuffle back to California… from England)

Gosh, okay. There’s more on the list, but I’m out of time. I may add pictures to this post later.

What do you think? Do you have any ideas of how I should be spending my days? What would you be doing, given this amazing opportunity to travel around the world with no real schedule to speak of? I welcome any and all suggestions!

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6 thoughts on “Traveling Goals

  1. I love you! I’m so glad we’re cousins! I think that you’re doing a fabulous job of exploring Miss Julie – and def. ignore those stressors for rt now, they will always be there 🙂 I think the best things I took with me, in my own travels, is how big the world truly is, with so many people, learning a life a little bit differently every day. It gave me patience with people, and want for understanding, because everyone has their own unique story, culture, and background, and a better grasp for listening. I think, every day, as you get to explore this great big world – continue to realize how big your options are – that there are no limitations to what you can be capable of, and to absorb the people you meet – because having friendships around the world is priceless. Enjoy this time sweet cousin – love you much!!

    • Thanks so much, Rach! Patience is definitely something that I used to lack, and now I feel like I have an abundance of it — it’s wonderful 🙂 I’ll try to keep this all in mind as I continue to travel. And thank you so much for your confidence and support. Sometimes I feel like there are just too many options, and I can’t zero in on the right one. Like right now I’m considering looking for work in SE Asia after I travel around a bit. But I’ll keep you updated of all the progress. Miss you and love you tons!

  2. Julie! I plan on trying to go for a morning jog, hopefully every other day when I’m out there with you. Join me! 🙂 When I was doing Race Across America, one of our crew members did that every morning and she would always tell me about the places she saw and the people she met along the way. It seems like a cool way to see places, especially neighborhoods around the world! (as long as it’s safe, at least). Also, Audrey will probably take us swing dancing, so you could learn how to do that! I have a journal that I’ll be writing in every few days, so you can join me there too! and I know I’m going to miss my bike terribly so I will try to bike as much as possible – hopefully you could join me there, too. ❤ can't wait! go get your visa!!

    • Yes, yes, and yes! Except that I absolutely hate running. Gosh, how I despise it. BUT I realize that it’s the best way to get exercise while traveling, so I’m trying to overcome that. I’m actually reading a book right now that, according to a friend of mine, will inspire me to start running everywhere. It’s a good thing you like to run, you can help motivate me 🙂

      Oh, and I just started the visa application process! Woo, making progress!

  3. I always have trouble making a solid routine, I can’t imagine trying to forge one while traveling the world and hopping from place to place! I certainly try to implement reading where I can, I have so many books I want to read sitting next to my bed that I find I never have the opportunity to touch. This being, simply, because I don’t make the time.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Also, explain the California shuffle!

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