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!

BeccaInTransit_URL

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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I’m back!

Guys, Merry Christmas to ME! After a month of being computerless, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. I don’t want to get into which kind I got because I don’t want to be all product-placement about it, but I love it, and it’s fast, and I’m keeping it far away from water.

In the meantime, what have I been up to, you ask? Continue reading

My Next Trip

Every trip needs to have its seed of an idea. Early last summer, it was when I told my officemate, “I think I want to invite my BFF to go to Scotland with me,” and my officemate said, “If you do, you should totally take a bike trip through the Highlands.”

Three months later, my BFF and I were slogging our bikes up hill and dale through Scottish downpours for a week. And we’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The day I learned my rain jacket isn't waterproof.

The day I learned my rain jacket isn’t waterproof.

Today I started to really think about my next Big Trip. Continue reading

Fit to Travel

Almost four years ago I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, a healthy, fit 135#, and started a full-time desk job. Each year of that job, I gained ten pounds, and so now, I’m officially That Fat American—a stereotype I definitely want to crush before returning to Europe.

https://d1aviatl7dpuhg.cloudfront.net/image/mode/crop/q/90/w/500/h/282/url/64/aHR0cDovL3BpeGNtc2FkbWluLnBpeGFibGUuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvdXBsb2Fkcy8yMDE1LzA2L2hpcHMuZ2lm
from the German segment of Watch People From All Over the World Describe How to Spot an American (click image to view)

Part of it is that I have a wardrobe of cute clothes that don’t fit me right now, and I’m too cheap to buy new ones in my new size. Part of is that I don’t want to confirm negative stereotypes of my own country. But most of it is just that I feel better when I’m a healthy weight, and that I love-love-love walking and biking when I’m in Europe, activities that I can’t see myself doing well if I’m in my current state of overweight. (Besides, you can fit more clothes in a suitcase when the clothes are smaller!)

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