I started this blog while I was in college, mainly as a means to avoid doing homework and let out my random thoughts into the vortex of cyberspace. Once I started traveling more, I began to use this blog more as a means to let my family know I am still alive and to share my experience with others. The title Sojourns is based partly on my nomadic lifestyle and partly on my belief that life is short, so live it up.
I am currently a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. After living in Germany for four months, I stopped by my home in the Pacific Northwest for holidays and then moved to Thailand in January 2009 and will be here until 2011. I joined the Peace Corps after college because: 1. I wanted to experience working in development and 2. because I am a sucker for travel and adventures. When I told the Thailand Country Director this, he warned me, “the adventure part wears off real quick.” I’d say at this point in my service I’d have to agree with him. The thrill of the adventure came and went and I’ve had to persevere through my share of frustrations and disappointments. The adventures never completely stopped coming though, and enduring the challenges has made enjoying these adventures that much sweeter.
Working with Peace Corps has illuminated for me some of the things I love. I’ve realized more and more that I love traveling and not just the kind of travel where I stop at some sites and check off a list and move on my merry way, but the kind of travel where I sit and stay awhile, eat a meal, see the countryside and experience the culture. Since spending time in Thailand I’ve learned more about the connections between culture, history and society and I am especially fond of experiencing culture through yummy food and drinks.
If I’m not writing about travels or life in Thailand, there’s a good chance I’ll be writing about books. I love reading books, finding books and hoarding books. I’ve kept a log of the books I read since 2008, (which you can read on the Books page) because to me books are one of the best life timelines I have. Name a book on that list and I could probably tell you when I read it and several things that were going on in my life at that time. I studied Elementary Education in college and earned an endorsement in Reading. I believe that literacy is one of the greatest tickets to empowerment available to us and I am passionate about working with youth to improve literacy. Bring up the topic of Children’s books or literacy around me and I get all giddy in my stomach.
When I think about it, the greatest lesson I’ve learned through sojourning and Peace Corpsing is my ability to surprise myself. I’ve ran and biked farther than I ever thought I could, made strides in community work when I thought it was impossible, become close with people I wouldn’t have expected, climbed a mountain, figured my way out of missed flight and stolen money scenarios and stilled my spirit when my mind was spiraling out of control. Knowing that I can surprise myself has become my source of courage to tackle challenges and to take a few risks. I think life is a journey and an adventure in itself and I’m doing what I can to become fearless.