Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In The Beginning...

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Hey lovers.

I am twenty years, two weeks, and three days old.

Hitting twenty is a wake up call. Not like I haven't had my wake up call before September 18th, but it is the official fact that says "you're twenty, and you have to get up."

Over the summer, I went to California. That's where it began.

It was an experience riddled with many different things. It was difficult, it was fun, it was eye-opening. Los Angeles is not for the light-hearted (on your own). But it was virtually a melting pot. Especially at the hostel. I should have figured.

Aurelien Rosetti, his brother Damien, me, Matthew, and Sam at the hostel, 2AM the night before their flight back to Paris.

They completely refreshed my love for the French language and were the nicest people we met on the trip. I wanted to stay up and talk to them until the sun came up (and then some) because it was so much fun learning about their culture! And they offered me a place to stay in Paris! Who knows... I might just take them up on it while I'm in Italy.

I'm cutting and pasting all the people we met there.

I also absolutely love meeting new people. There was:
1. Jared, the Australian hitchhiking his way to Las Vegas
2. Roberto, the Chilean who was going to University of San Diego
3. Aurelien, Damien and Matthew, the French on vacation and heading back to Paris
4. Leo and Johannes, Germans on vacation
5. Ivan, the Hungarian traveling through the US
6. Dave (?) the guy from Pennsylvania (only met him for like an hour)
7. ______, the guy from Italy coming to study at the University of Southern California
8. Kristen and her boyfriend, the couple from Canada who came from Mexico... and like to shower together and sleep naked?
9. Indian guy from North Dakota... who was kind of a jerk.
10. Shivam, the 14 year old Indian who is crazy good at 3D modeling and all that jazz

[Santa Monica Sunset!]

Jared the hitchhiker blew my mind. He had been traveling for awhile now by himself. He wasn't much older than I was and backpacked through Asian for a month on his own, fitting his life in a small bookbag.

I want to meet the rest of the world.
California was great but I want to be around non-Americans... non-English speakers. There is SO much more to the world that we do not know. I feel like everyone has become so confined, especially everyone around me.

I LOVE Baltimore to death. There are a million things to do and see and Marylanders don't seem to appreciate it as much as they should. Many of my friends, even, seem stagnant and set on staying here in Maryland or plan on moving straight to their destination (i.e. NY city or Philly) and have no plans to travel.

Traveling now is ideal. At least for myself. You're young and you can go wild and get away with it! You don't have anyone to tie you down and you can be completely independent. It'd be nice to have someone travel along as well, I suppose but I would stick with a traveling buddy. Let's leave relationship talk at the door.

Sam, my traveling buddy [Santa Monica]! We learned what we could and couldn't handle from each other...

I wish I had more time (and money) to explore Maryland. Maryland is phenomenal. We have just about every bit of nature there is- we've got beaches, mountains, lakes, thriving urban areas, farmlands, and just about everything else you could imagine.

But ah, in less than four months, I will be on my way to Italy. I had a lot of anxiety about my decision to drop Australia at the last second, but I believe I made the right choice.

We'll see.

Christine is currently in Africa. She instilled the value of traveling and exploring life, even in my own home of Baltimore and D.C. How did I miss this whole world??

Christine reminded me that our old family friends were still full of culture and I could still learn from them. I hadn't seen these kids since I was in high school, so it kind of blew my mind seeing them all grown up.

I haven't had a real old-school Vietnamese experience in so long, so coming to see them was such a trip. We all sat on the floor and ate in a circle (I got offered beer which I respectfully turned down haha).

I ran around the basement playing with the little boys I missed so much. I forgot how much I loved being a tomboy with the boys :) I forgot how it was being around the Vietnamese. They always have a MILLION kids around while the parents sat and got buzzed after a huge meal. :)

Now I just have to deal with the insane mess of study abroad forms. But soon... I'll be up, up, and away!