Mapping My Path

You can thank my BFF for today’s post. She told me I really needed to blog about my treasure map I created last year, and she’s right. It’s the whole reason I’m headed where I am right now, and it was inspired by, of all things, a presentation about end-of-life care.

You see, about a year ago, I got to hear the famous doctor and author Atul Gawande speak at my workplace. His books have inspired many changes in the world of medicine, and his talk that day inspired me. He discussed his newest book, Being Mortal, which is, in part, about end-of-life care. He told us he’s learned to stop talking at his hospice patients and instead asks them four simple questions, questions with the goal of giving that patient their Very Best Day, each day that they have left:

  1. What is your perception of your condition?
  2. What are your biggest fears and concerns?
  3. What goals are most important to you?
  4. What trade-offs are you willing to make?

I turned to my friend and whispered, “Forget hospice. These are the questions we all need to ask ourselves every day of our lives.”

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Airplanes and Emails and Sheep, Oh My!

If you haven’t seen me in person for a few days, here’s the look that’s been pretty much plastered on my face this whole time:

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This expression, but hopefully less … red. Excuse the photo quality.

Today I took the final step of booking my flights, so it’s official and I can finally announce it: I’m WWOOFing in Scotland this spring!

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Big Transit News

I’ve made two big changes to Becca in Transit today. First, I bought the domain BeccainTransit.com! No one has to remember anymore whether I’m at WordPress or Blogger or another site. Now my URL is just me!

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Second, I have a big travel announcement in the wings, and thanks to my tax return this year, I can officially afford it. But because it will leave me with approximately twenty cents when I get back, I’ve added a Small Donate Button button to the sidebar.

If you read my blog, I will never expect a cent, a shilling, a yuan, or a zloty from you. My words are free. But if you enjoy reading about my transitions or want to support a starving artist or are just feeling generous, I’ll accept donations to keep me moving. This might be the difference between returning to a part-time job at Jo-Ann Fabric here at home, or affording to take a TEFL class this summer so I can teach abroad. I’m providing the button, but feel no pressure. I know a lot of us bloggers out there are just getting by. 🙂

Anyway, thanks for reading! If it weren’t for folks liking and commenting and following my blog, I wouldn’t still be writing. Stay tuned for details about my next big adventure!

Packing Toiletries

Something you should probably all know about me now before we move on any further in this blogger-reader relationship is that I hate packing.

I mean really hate it.

If I could go around the world with nothing but a passport in my pocket, I would, but I also like to have things like clothes and a camera on hand. Enter: lists. Specifically, my packing list, which I created in a .txt file in high school and have been adding to ever since, so now it’s a fairly comprehensive look at what I’ll need for any given journey. Thanks to that list, I can achieve results like this:

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Look! The zippers all close!

But I still hate packing … especially toiletries.

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Field Trip to Asia

Back when I lived in Madison, I drove past several Asian grocery stores on my way home from work each day, and thanks to friends in the know, I got hooked on certain products from their mysterious and inviting shelves. I thought I’d be fine when I moved back to PA, but no. Inevitably, I began feeling the need for sweet red bean paste, citron tea, and glutinous rice flour, none of which are available in my little town.

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Enter Penn State University. Thanks to the international student body, the town of State College can sustain several Asian grocery stores, and on Monday, I took a field trip to stock up on supplies.

At first I thought I wanted to go by myself, and then I started to picture my grandma in these stores and invited her to come along. At 90 years old, my grandma loves grocery shopping, and she was thrilled to join me and my mom for an all-new grocery store experience.

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