Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?

2 years and 4 months.  That’s how long it’s been since I last posted.  To give you an idea of what happened, at the end of 2012 I was living in Bolivia, volunteering at a hospital just outside of Cochabamba.  I had hoped to be there for quite some time, maybe forever, but plans changed and on Christmas Eve of that year I found myself on a plane back to Washington.

Enter the next year and a half.

I worked and saved and dreamed, but after more than a year of having no income getting back on my feet was a lot harder than I expected, so I didn’t travel.  In fact I’ve only been outside of the US 3 times since Bolivia.  Twice to the Mexican border city of Tijuana to build houses for families in need and the third was to Canada.  I haven’t gone far, obviously, and in this little travelers heart, painfully.  But that isn’t to say my life isn’t full of adventure…

Last summer things started finally looking up when I loaded up my car, drove to Bellingham, and got onto a ferry bound for Alaska.  I’ve been here ever since.

Why Alaska?  Well, right now I’m going back to school to become a Paramedic (totally not what you expected right?).  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years but the time and setting were never right. When I’m not studying I use my free time to explore all Alaska has to offer.  I currently live on the Kenai Peninsula, which is nicknamed “Alaska’s Playground.”  There’s so much to do here, but unfortunately a lot closes down in the “off months” aka not tourist season, so I’m excited for May to come and all the adventure it will bring!

So get ready, this blog definitely hasn’t died and I can’t wait to share with you my adventures in Alaska as well as flashbacks to my past adventures around the world.Mt Redoubt

Mt. Redoubt as seen from my home in Soldotna.  You would never guess there’s the whole Cook Inlet between us.

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Identity: Travel Blogger

 

I’ve had a lot of trouble blogging lately, have you noticed?

Not for lack of material, that’s for sure.  I mean, I live in Bolivia and it’s freaking amazing.

Over the past few weeks I’ve started many blogs, only to stop and never get back to them.

Why did I do that?  Waste of time.

If I were being a good travel blogger I would have already written about the 3 days I spent in the saltiest place on earth, or the day I faced death head on when I biked the road literally named after the event that occurs so often on it.

But I haven’t been a good travel blogger. Apparently I’ve been lazy, and I blame this almost wholly on the fact that recently I moved to a new country, on a different continent where they speak a language I don’t, overwhelming no?

However, I think the biggest problem when it comes down to this little blog of mine is the big box of comparison I’ve been living in.  I’ll start a blog only to think oh so and so could write a much better blog than this, or this travel blogger had much better photos, or even let myself get discouraged by the fact that I have such a small audience at the moment.

It’s easy to forget that at one point, each and every travel blogger whose blogs I admire started off right where I am.  They simply grasped their dream and ideas, ran with it, and in the end made something out of it.

So now’s the time.  If I really, really want to do this I have to figure out who I am, define my voice and be happy with it.

No more comparisons, because at the end of the day I’ll never be like Legal Nomads, SpunkyGirl Monologues, A Dangerous Business,  or any of the other bloggers I admire…

And that’s a good thing, because one is enough, and I want people to read my blog because I am the only one like me, not because I’m like everyone else.

So here’s to new beginnings and new attempts at this little thing I’ve played with for years called travel blogging.  The beginning may be a little rough, but I know that eventually I’ll establish a rhythm and then all I can say is watch out world, because here I come!

Doing what I do best at Salar De Uyuni

Photo Of The Week: Mozambican Children

 Photo of the Week, where each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This weeks photo is from Beira, Mozambique.  After spending a month in sparkly, modern South Africa, Mozambique’s feeling of being “a step behind” was more than welcome.  It was the Africa I had been waiting for.  One day I was lucky enough to visit a village way out in the sticks.  This village had to have been what inspired Disneylands Jungle Cruise.  We’re talking grass huts, dirts paths, animals.  But what stood out the most were the children.  Always excited to be in a picture, and with giant smiles on their faces who could resist?

Photo Of The Week: Lake Titicaca

 

It’s back! Photo of the Week, where each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This week my photo is from the Peru side of Lake Titicaca.

Considered the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is shared by both Peru and Bolivia.  On a brief stop in Puno, Peru we decided to take a tour of the famous and colorful Uros Floating Islands, where the Uru people have lived for generations in small villages floating on islands constructed of reeds (which Lake Titicaca has an abidance of!).

Lake Titicaca

Packing Up, Shipping Out

It’s true, I’ve been a really, really bad travel blogger lately,  but I have a really, really good reason!  I’ve been packing, planning and preparing.  Let me explain…

There are few moments more exciting for a traveler than the moment an adventure commences.  With a world full of dreams and possibility ahead of you, it’s a pretty cool place to stand.

October 11, or 10/11/12 as I like to refer to it because the date is just that cool, will be that moment for me, or at least it should be, if American Airlines can bolt their seats properly to the floor (trust me, I wouldn’t fly them if I didn’t have to).

My next adventure you might ask? Bolivia.  That’s right, the Andean country where cities are so high they take your breath away and highways have llama crossing signs.

I got a glimpse, a taste of Bolivia when I was there last fall on the World Race, but for me a taste just wasn’t enough, so that’s why, not only am I going back to Bolivia, I’m moving there.

Uh huh, moving.

With all of my belongings packed into two rolling duffels and a carry-on, I’ll have significantly more than I did this last year when I traveled around the world with only a backpack, but the idea that I’m going to be constructing a life for myself somewhere makes me want to take so much more!  Needless to say I’m really, really trying to work on my overpacking problem.

However, my motivation for moving to Bolivia isn’t only because I love it, it’s because I’ve found a place where I think I really can make a difference.  I’ll be spending the next 10 months volunteering with Hospitals of Hope, and American run hospital just outside of Cochabamba.  I’ll have many “jobs,” my primary one being to run the hospitals coffee shop, but the one avenue I’m really excited to partner with is called Moviemento Sonrisas, an organization based in the pediatric unit of Cochabambas main public hospital.  There I will get to visit kids in several different units, playing games with them, watching movies and just trying to put smiles on their little faces, and it’s awesome!

For the traveler inside of me that continually lusts for adventure, loves experiencing new things and can’t stop moving, these next 10 months are going to be different. There’s so many places in the world I want to visit, but this next year is devoted to Bolivia.  To helping the people there and exploring every little corner when I can, and I’m so excited to take you all with me!

Bolivian Visa

It may be the strangest looking visa I’ve ever seen, but this Bolivian visa is like gold to me right now!