Sunday, August 30, 2009

Magnificently Mundane

Grocery shopping, laundry, raking the lawn, and cooking. Usually considered hassles, these are all activities that I missed while traveling, so it is probably no coincidence that this is how I spent my weekend. Jess and I finally feel settled here in Austin, Texas and tomorrow I will begin my third week as an Assistant Special Education Teacher for “behaviorally challenged” high school students. Having a regular daily routine - getting up early, riding my bike to work, going to the gym, cooking dinner – is incredibly comforting after a year of constant uncertainty and movement. I need all the comfort I can get because y job is challenging and I am learning a great deal about education and Hispanic culture in the United States. Akins High School (2700+ students) has a 75% minority and 55% economically underprivileged student body – very different than Silex (120 students) which was 100% white.

I have hardly thought about this blog for the past month, probably because I am busy preparing for the new challenges that lie ahead, but I have not forgotten my last year of travels. I can’t say that I am able to use any of the specific knowledge or skills that I learned while abroad, but I am certain that I am now more confident and risk-taking thanks to my year of globe-trotting. Jumping into a stressful job in a new city seems like a break compared with hopping buses in a foreign country. During my last few weeks of traveling, I was sure that I wouldn’t want to pack my backpack again for a few years, but I was wrong. I’m already thinking about where I should spend my next summer vacation . . . Latin America perhaps?

Until my next excursion abroad, I’m putting this blog on hold. In the near future (after a blogging sabbatical) I will probably start a new blog which will be a forum for my political/economic/environmental/educational/philosophical thoughts, or at least posting of other people’s thoughts which express what I cannot.

A sincere thank you to those who took the time out of their day to read my disjointed and rambling thoughts. I can still be contacted via this blog, but of course you can always come down to Austin for a visit . . .

Monday, August 3, 2009

Staying Put But Moving On

One of the great things about my year of wandering was the enormous amount of free time I had to read, relax, and just plain think. A new stage in my life is about to begin and my year of relaxed and contemplative nomadism is history - I forgot what it is like to be completely and honestly busy. My to-do list won't fit on a single page so I have zero time to actually absorb how the past year has affected me.

So here is the update: I made it home just fine and I am indescribably happy to be spending time with friends and family again. Hopefully a thoughtful and lengthier post will follow in order to tie everything together and wrap up this blog (for a while anyway).