“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

At 22 23 years old, I like to think that I know a lot about myself: I've learned my name, my gender, my preferred writing hand, my shoe size, and which of the Animaniacs siblings I most resemble.  I've learned to speak like Spongebob, mimic a cougar, and the loon call.  I've learned to walk and quack like a duck, yet remain a not-duck.  I've learned about my gifts [nearsighted vision, weekly bloody noses, an uncanny ability to attract mosquitoes] and curses [racially ambiguous nature, maleable hair styles, impossibly wide shoulders].  However, I've learned that the most recent update of the Center For Disease Control's website has put the average American life expectancy at 77.9 years.  Considering I have lived a little over a quarter of my expected life span, I realize that I actually know a little over the quarter of things I expect to know by my inevitably expected death.

As a recent college graduate, I've come to understand that higher education involves two things: a) getting that degree in something-or-other through tests, papers, and presentations, and b) learning the identity of the person you see when you brush your teeth, fix that tie, and apply moisturizer to your face.  So far, I have completed a) and I'm focusing a little more on b).

I've been blessed with an incredible opportunity to travel 'round the world on a Watson Fellowship, during which I expect to dance, volunteer, and experience gastrointestinal problems.  More importantly, I want to keep figuring out this thing - life - that I am convinced most people haven't, or won't.  Especially the ones who have known what/who/where/why they are since the tender age of zygote.  

This blog was created to keep many of my loved ones in the know about what I am doing [click everything in blue!], and that I am breathing.  In reality, I think it's one of those reflection tools that self-help books so heavily recommend we use when we're feeling down in the purples.  I'm hoping to look back and realize how much of an idiot I may or may not be [another thing to figure out], laugh at my mistakes, and become awestruck at how I survived such a thing.  I feel like there's a Kraft Cheesy quote about how, "life is a journey," and how "I want you come with" that I should put in here.

"Mary had a little sheep,
With the sheep she went to sleep.
The sheep turned out to be a ram,
And Mary had a little lamb."
- Stephen Tyler

I'm going to india/uganda/egypt/australia/france/theuk/argentina on a solo expedition.  Thanks to technology, I'm guaranteed that friends and family will be closer than ever.  But really, as long as you know that someone is waiting for you back at home, can you really consider yourself alone?


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