A while ago I came across one of those inspirational images that people post on Facebook. It was a picture of a dog running at full speed, wild eyed, with its tongue out and it said, "Live like someone left the gate open." It stopped me in my tracks. Why? - because like all you lovely folks, I have a dream. I have always wanted to go to Europe and see the incredible cities and experience the many cultures there for an extended amount of time. Two weeks, here and there never feels like enough time. Italy has a special place in my heart and I want to see and learn more about it. That picture of the escaped dog sparked something that made me begin to realize that I had the freedom to make that dream a reality. Shortly after that my best friend, who has heard me talk about this dream for 15 years, said to me "Why not just do it? What's holding you back?" and I couldn't think of anything that was stopping me.
That's crazy, E!
It's true. I resigned from my job as a graphic designer at non-profit where I've been working for the last 10 and half years and I booked a plane ticket to London. Why London? Big Ben, the River Thames, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Pallace, British Museum, Tate Modern, need I go on? It's an amazing city that I've never been to and it was the best deal I could find - just $18 plus some air miles. I'm also planning to visit Bristol, the place where my great grandparents were born.
Why I need your help?
A strange but true fact about me is that I don't own a laptop or computer of any kind. The last computer I owned I purchased in 2002. This is where you come in. I have saved some money for my travels, but I don't have enough for a laptop too. The number one question people have asked me about all this is, are you going to write a blog? This is a journey I'm willing to share, but keep in mind I'm a designer not a writer. Having a laptop (specifically a Macbook Air for traveling light with a price tag of $1,550) would allow me to do some freelance design work, volunteer design work, photography, and yes blogging. On top of the cost of the laptop is the cost of the Adobe Creative Suite software I need for design work "“ that's another $600.
(photo below from a trip to Budapest in 2012)
Come with me
I don't have a set agenda. I don't know how long I'll be gone. All I know is in a month I will be walking down the streets of London with a camera, a guide book and a million things to see and people to meet. After that I'm thinking Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, etc. and an extended time in Italy. Mi piace l'Italia!
Come along with me on my $18 ticket. Not everyone can jump on a plane but you can follow along with my travels. Let's walk along the Thames, stop in to see the wonders of the world in the British Museum, take a photo of Big Ben, catch a train to frolick in the hill country of Bath with Jane Austen. Then head off to another spot on the map with more museums and rivers and hills to frolick in.
(Photos below from trips to Volterra and Rome, Italy in 2012; Santorini, Greece 2013)
It's about DISCOVERY
At a New Years Eve dinner party I was sitting at a long table with friends and one of them asked if we could go around the table and say what one word we would use to describe 2013 and what one word we are hoping to use to describe 2014. My word for 2014 is discovery. DISCOVERY. Martin Buber said, "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." So I'm setting off on a journey. I know I'm going to find a lot of secret destinations and discover many unexpected things about the world and God and about myself. It will be a journey of discovery.
P.S. I have a BIG black cat named Banjo who needs a foster home while I'm gone. If you or someone you know would be interested in helping me with that, please get in touch with me.
(photo below part of a discovery word series I've started for 2014)
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