It’s been over a year since I began my first out-in-the-wild, take-on-the-planet travel excursion.
It changed my world – I learned how to be by myself and how to talk to new people and how to figure out what to order for dinner when I can’t read anything on the menu.
In a couple of weeks, Northeastern is announcing the winner of their Global Officer co-op position. This student will have the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the globe for six months while making a huge impact within the Northeastern community. They will choose their destinations, build their own timeline, and tap into the Northeastern community around the world.
To celebrate the Global Officer co-op position, I wanted to take a second to talk about how to pack up and get going for a trip like this.
What do you carry with you from Istanbul to Bali to Iceland?
Let’s start with the essentials:
Boots: Rain boots or hiking boots. I don’t care what they are – just make sure they’re waterproof. My suggestion would be these packable rain boots. You can roll them right up and stick them wherever they need to go.
Layers: Everyone says “pack layers,” but what does that mean? That means at least one of each of these things: a short-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a breathable, moisture-wicking jacket (think Under Armour or cold-weather running gear), a warm sweatshirt, and a waterproof shell. If you can find a super warm coat that you can crush into a backpack, bring that along, too.
An “important things” folder: When you’re traveling, keep all of your documents organized. Make sure you can pull out your itinerary, your tickets, and your passport at any time.
Once you have the basics covered, here are a few quick tips for the rest of it:
If you can buy it in-country, don’t pack it. A toothbrush and toothpaste are essential items. Everything else is flexible. If you prepare for every single type of weather, your bags will be full in five minutes. If you pack your entire first aid kit, you will never make it out of your apartment. A large part of traveling is figuring things out as you go. It’s about finding what you need and not worrying about the rest.
If you’re not sure, don’t pack it. Don’t pack three scarves or that pair of shoes you really like, but only with a certain pair of pants. Don’t pack a book unless you plan to give it to someone when you’re done.
Just remember: you want to be as mobile as possible.
Lugging three suitcases around a new city will prevent you from being able to stop, take a look around, and realize what an incredible thing you’re doing. Whenever you travel to a new corner of the world, you’re seeing something your eyes have never seen. Hearing a note of a country your ears have never heard.
You’re doing something incredible, so don’t let stuff get in the way.
Huskies, don’t forget to apply to the Global Officer co-op position HERE by November 3rd.
Some days I like being around lots of people – especially lots of people I don’t know.
But most days, I like just being around one person.
One on one.
I’ve found myself a person who likes to schedule coffee dates. Let’s talk. Let’s dig deep. Let’s talk about big things and little things.
I’m learning so much about how interesting people on this planet are and how incredible people can be when they are following what they love. My friend Lauren from Team Neon Fitness is now on a supplemental OCR team. OCR – obstacle course racing – is some serious business. There’s fire and mud and walls to climb over, and races can easily last five, six hours. (more…)
Su-per interesting. “And so the woman who calls another woman basic ends up implicitly endorsing two things she probably wouldn’t sign up for if they were spelled out for her: a male hierarchy of culture, and the belief that the self is an essentially surface-level formation.” What do you really mean by “basic bitch”?
Three years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to become a more interesting person.
I wish I were kidding.
I wanted to go places I had never been, meet people I had never met, and do things I never could have imagined. I wanted my life to be vast and incredible and unavoidable. I wanted to have stories for my children about grand adventures and faraway places with just the tiniest, most charming bit of danger. (more…)
Today marks the beginning of my 21st year of life.
I’ve spent most of that time learning and getting it wrong and figuring it out and learning again.
Some lessons were easy, some lessons were not. Here’s the basic gist:
1. The “urban tribe” is BS. You’re not alone if you’re living on your own instead of with a group of quirky best friends who do nothing but hang out and get into trouble together. You will have friends all over the darn place, and that’s the beauty of this whole thing. Don’t think you need to build your life around sitcoms.
2. The second week home is hard. The second week after you come home from traveling will always feel lonely. Your brain is saturated and your heart is so full it feels like it’s breaking. People stop asking about it and everything will go back to normal — but, for a while, that will feel terrible. That’s okay. It’s worth it.
3. Say “yes” and figure it out later. I love the e e cummings poem, “yes is the only living thing” because it’s true. Try things you aren’t quite prepared for or feel too young for. Say yes to an opportunity that feels too big for you. You might end up thoroughly overwhelmed, but just say yes, put on your big-girl pants, pretend like you know what you’re doing, and figure it out. (more…)
HUGE Happy Birthday to Papa Sampson, the fella up there with the killer sunglasses. Triathlete and selfie connoisseur, he keeps it 100 and inspires me every day. I love you!
This is very real – definitely something I’m working on. What If Having An Extraordinary Life Isn’t The Point? ”Taking a summer to build wells in Africa is, for some, a genuine calling. But so is fixing a neighbor’s plumbing, feeding one’s family and sharing in the burdens and joys of a local church. Sometimes, the best way to change the world is to live extraordinarily in what looks like an ordinary existence—to radically love and serve those around us every day, no matter where we are.”