Monday, May 04, 2009


The past 2 months have been the first time in a long time that I haven't had any travel plans and haven't even really spent much time planning fantasy trips. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing -- there was a period of time in the fall and winter when I was kind of obsessively researching travel and fancy apartments as a form of escapism from the day-to-day stuff that was really bringing me down. But now... well, I am about to move back in with the parents, I have only a vague idea of what I'll be doing or where I'll be living after August 1, and I have zero trips on the horizon.

Last August I went to Guatemala with one of my best friends, for 10 days. It was my first time spending any real time in a developing country and it was definitely an adventure. There are good things and bad things about this kind of travel, and I'm not really going to get into all my feelings about that region of the world except to say that I learned a lot about rustic accommodations and letting go of some parts of my self-image that were negative or limiting. I have always been an inactive indoor kid, but on this trip, I said yes to every opportunity. I crawled and swam through dark watery caves, jumped off a bridge, climbed my first mountain AND my first volcano, rode a zipline through the canopy trees, swam in a volcanic lake, dined and made friends with strangers, and took my chances with sketchy modes of transit, DDT-laden veggies, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes. There were times when I thought I'd die, and times when I thought my friend and I would never speak again, but we both lived to tell the tale and to revive our friendship.

Anyway, after this trip, I made a list of "adventure gear" that I wished I'd had while there, and I've been amassing a collection of stuff for whenever I find myself once again doing outdoor-kid travel, which hopefully will be soon. Soon as I find a place to go and a travel companion.

Here's the stuff on my list:
  • headlamp (got it for xmas from my very confused but entertained parents)
  • super high capacity memory card for my camera (got it)
  • teva-type sandals (just ordered this morning! yes, I got almost the same ones my friend had in Guate)
  • high quality backpack with separate compartments for my stinky used adventure clothing
  • adventure clothing -- tough but easily washed, warm but lightweight, adaptable to a lot of weather conditions and activities
I think that's about it. For the Guate trip I bought hiking boots, and I already had a camping towel (not for camping, but for showering at my old gym before work). I'm pretty stoked about the new sandals I just ordered, and I think maybe I'm going to have to start planning the next trip... I've got all of August and September off from school & work (with no income but hopefully something will come through to solve that problem) so hopefully I can manage to squeeze in some adventuring.

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