A Travellerspoint blog


Presidential Election 2008

From Colombia and Beyond

sunny 17 °C

As Americans abroad, we spend a lot of time responding to political questions about how things work, who does what, who believes what, what we think will happen, etc. While addressing the questions and concerns about various people, places and plans in the US, I often find my self walking a very fine line between my own criticisms and the reality of issues our world faces today. Precariously balancing the attepmt to break the stereotypes of a nation strangled by its own overextension and truthfully identifying many of its faults can and often does leave many confused, least of all, me.

Nevertheless, in what I have no doubt will be one of the most historical and memorable moments of my life, my confusion and criticism have been put on hold, at least momentarily, to celebrate what it means to be a witness to true optimism and hope. The culmination of hours, months and years in a country plagued by doubt and disappointed was the showing of millions of people who came out to take a stance one way or another, to make a change for what they hope would be the better.

Now, I have been sitting here for the last 30 minutes typing and erasing, typing and erasing, trying to figure out what this means for someone spending 9 months in a foreign country trying to make a difference in the lives of others in what I hope will be the better, while trying to "figure out where to go in life", and I just don't know. What I do know is that, it feels like it just got easier. Maybe its a nervous excitement knowing I will be going back to a country different than the one I left. Maybe its apprehension that the seemingly giant steps in a new and positive direction, won't come to fruition. Maybe its joy in feeling like I can actually get behind US citizens for their ability to not only have an opinion but to do something about it. Maybe it feels like I'm not on my own in making a pretty big leap of faith here and hoping for the best--and that that is not a careless thing for once. Or, it could be that it just generates an 'even the things we hoped but never expected to see, are actually happening' feeling that extends beyond political arenas to personal and professional ones where there may also be new doors to open.

While I can't quite put my finger on why it feels different now than it did yesterday morning, I do know this; for the first time that I can remember, I am actually proud, not just thankful, lucky, or fortunate, but proud to be American. Not just for who we elected, but for the spirit and enthusiasm a nation, often criticized for its apathy, showed in making its choices; red or blue, black or white, male or female, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. We truly have made a difference.

Posted by tuffchix 08:20 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

On Our Way...

semi-overcast 23 °C

We're here!!!...in Florida, that is. Four days of scrambling around trying to check things off the 5 mile long 'to do' list-- everything from last goodbye coffee/dinner/drink dates, to cramming 9 months in 2 checked bags, 1 carry on and "1 personal item", to a last stop at In 'N Out (here is where you can call into questions our ability to prioritize) was stuffed into the small window we had between confirming last details with the YMCA on Monday and our departure earlier this (Thursday) afternoon.

We figure we're doing this right by weaning ourselves from California life, giving ourselves a chance to adjust and relax a bit outside of everything familiar at home before throwing ourselves excitedly into our new lives in Bogota. After a crazy week, I am definitely excited about the chance for a little R&R here in Tampa and later this weekend in Orlando!

Posted by tuffchix 22:26 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Brace yourself Bogota...

...cause its on!

sunny 23 °C

And by that I mean we are finally going to Bogota!!! After months of research, questions, applications, appointments, more questions, a few unexpected answers, no answers, more questions, and finally some steps in the right direction we finally have a departure date!

Marty and I will be leaving beautiful, familiar, sea-level Sonoma County on Thursday (after what I imagine will be a few feverish days of packing and running around if today is any indication) to spend a few days in Florida with Steph and Aaron. A couple days of playing tourist between Tampa and Orlando should prep us for our flight bright and early Monday morning. By Monday afternoon we will be in our new city of Bogota, Colombia!

After what seems like a loooong process, its pretty exciting to actually be going. Not gonna lie, there is plenty I will miss; Project Runway, In 'N Out Burger, English to name a few. However, I may be surprised and I am sure Colombia is not lacking in its offerings. I will just have to busy myself with other things. When in Rome..., right? Until I find those things, I think we'll most likely focus on getting there and getting settled. First things first, after all.

Posted by tuffchix 01:19 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Getting Closer...

...but still not there

sunny 39 °C

Apparently the visa process is actually quite lengthy (bureaucracy- who woulda thunk it?). Anyhoo, we are looking to head out sometime later this month. Until then you can check out our apartment in Bogota in my photo gallery. I'll be keeping this updated along with the blog for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Posted by tuffchix 23:32 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

It Starts.

A Journey to the Southern Continent.

sunny 30 °C

I don't know that Disney's Lion King could have penned a more appropriate line for how this next chapter in my life than, "It starts," (Thank you Rafiki). And so it does. Since the very first times Marty and I sat around entertaining thoughts of just taking off, starting something new, scratching the travel itch, and doing something we could feel really good about up until this point when Bogota, Colombia is just a month away not only have we said, "It starts," but quite a few, "It stops."

With a wonderful summer of family and friends, Camp RAD, day-tripping, abalone diving, giants gaming, reading, sun bathing, rock climbing, and more behind me, I can finally look forward to winding down my work at the Town of Windsor and focus on the upcoming 9 months of volunteer with the YMCA's Go Global Program in Bogota, Colomia and the ensuing 10th month of travel.

Usually I start out these blogs with some sort of disclaimer or apology-in-advance for the insane number of run-on sentences (this blog often comes out in streams of consciousness- sorry) or overly ambitious desire to transfer all the knowledge I gain and love I develop for the places I go and see to you, the fortunate reader. However, I don't really know yet what direction this blog will go so I think just taking in whatever appeals to you and being patient enough to dig through lengthy paragraphs to get to those things is probably the best prescription.

So welcome to the adventures, hope you enjoy!

Posted by tuffchix 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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