Archives for posts with tag: travel

Ticket purchased: Check.

July 17th I embark on yet another journey. I have booked my plane ticket to Lisbon, Portugal. I will begin my journey there and backpack across Europe for the summer. I am supposed to be going with an old friend but that doesn’t look like it is happening so I am now taking this journey by myself. If that is the case, I am excited and nervous but I cannot wait to experience something strange and unforgettable again. I made a promise to myself and that is to continue to travel, see the world, and do some good in it. I am trying to live up to that and do something worth writing about. I am always inspired by friends of mine that I have made throughout the years, they are all such free spirits, traveling anywhere they can, anyway they can. I love that my friend circle has grown to such wanderers. Not all of us are as lost as we seem, we are exactly where we want to be and exactly where we are supposed to be. A wise man once said, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson knew that traveling was good for the soul and is very much needed. Experience cultures unlike your own and fall in love with everything.

“The journey is the destination.” -Dan Eldon

Do not put me in a box. I am a complex multi-functional machine with different buttons, switches, cogs, and the like.   I have been noticing a lot lately that especially in the gay community there is always someone asking how I identify in the “Gay Farm?” Yeah lets call it that. Not everyone has an animal name but the two main animals are Bears and Otters. Then you have Daddy, Geek, Jock, Leather, Poz, Rugged, Twink, and Trans AMONG many other names. My appearance does not define who I am as a person nor does my sexual identity. I am a hard worker, I am a friend, a brother, a son.  I spend a good majority of my life moving and traveling.  Because if you stay in one place too long then you get potted and you leave roots in the people you meet. That is not a bad thing but it is nothing something I see myself doing for a long time. But back to labels.  I am all of these things and A LOT more. I am a lot more complex than most people take me for and that is at no fault of their own. They see me as one thing and I am forever type-cast as it in my own life. I refuse to be type-cast, I have dared to break the mold and try new things, leaving my town and the ones I love behind and maybe it isn’t for ever but it is for now. And all we have is now so why waste it being something just to appease those around you.  Fuck that.

 

-S

As I lay in my hotel room bed, which has truly begun to feel like home to me. I haven’t lived at home for 9 months now. By the time my program ends it’ll be 10 months I haven’t lived in my town. I have driven cross country volunteering all around America (mainly New Jersey, for Hurricane Sandy relief).

I have lived in Iowa, at what used to be a school for the blind

I then went to Anniston, Alabama for training at the Department for Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness.

After that, Winchester, Virginia living in a hotel working at a call center.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall-That following weekend we were deployed to New Jersey, living at Fort Dix a military base. That by far was the most depressed I have ever become, looking back that is the weakest point of my life, but I made it through and I now realize what an experience living there was.

After that Montclair State University, lived there for 2 months

Finally we made it to the end of my service year-Washington, D.C. (also known as the happiest I have been all year) Back to living in an Extended Stay with 3 roommates, yes it is cramped but they are like brothers I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

So what is next? 

I received a job offer in Chicago, IL. I accepted this offer, for now. I will be working with people who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. I can’t imagine this next year being a walk in the park-if I go through with it and go move out there. I am still waiting to hear back from the college I applied too, if and when I am accepted I will choose to go there and continue my education. But for now Chicago here I come.

The future is unknown and I kind of like it that way-as scared as I am to move to a big city in the midwest, I am also excited for such an amazing opportunity. Is it 100% that I will be going? No, but I have the chance to so why not take it while it is there.

There are many things I want to do with my life, so many plans to be made, so many things to be done. I am trying the best I can to figure out my life, but I don’t have it all figured out. If anyone says they do, they are liars. 

No one ever said I had to have my life planned out by the time I turned 20, I am 19 and don’t plan on having a plan anytime soon. I never did have a plan to begin with actually, I did what ever “normal” high school graduate does, went away to school for a semester, and then I realized that I hated my school and everything about it, I was unhappy. I dropped out for a week during winter break, and I regretted it. I was unable to follow through; what was I going to do next? So the week passed and I enrolled in community college (also know as Hell on earth). I was miserable for the spring semester, normally I can make friends anywhere I go, and I take pride in that but not this time. I smiled at no one and talked to as little people as possible. And I was fine with that because for the first time I did not need to try anything or do anything but get my work done and go home, relax and read.

But I knew I needed to do something, I was missing something. I knew what I needed to do; travel. I signed up a volunteer organization that was 10 months long and allowed you to travel and do some good in the world. I signed up without thinking twice.

This program currently ends June 14th 2013- I am currently serving. This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I have faced challenges that many people won’t normally experience. That being said this is one of the most rewarding times of my life. I never imagined myself being in situations living with the same 8 people for 10 months of my life, eating, working, sleeping, breathing together for better or worse we became a family; a family of survivors. I have gained patience beyond my wildest dreams, I have matured in the workplace like I could have never imagined.

Now as my year is coming to a close, what do I do next? I will let the universe unfold as it may and figure it out as I go.

The twenties are meant to be confusing, I am meant to find different places to live and explore, different people to explore.

I think I am ready to face the world, I don’t think the world is ready for me though.
-S