Challenge #6: Saying hello is easy. Saying goodbye is not.

I’ve always had a hard time meeting people and leaving people. I think it’s a pretty common thing but growing up in an international environment where ‘friends’ came and went every two, three years, you kind of learn to become friends with someone really quickly and then say ‘see you later.’

A ‘best friend’ I had in 7th grade was across the continent by 8th grade and I didn’t get to see my group of friends I had senior year of high school until 2/3 years later – some I still haven’t seen. That’s how it always was and has been as most of my friends were fellow ‘nomads’ who really didn’t have the same ‘home’ or country to return to. Since many of my friends’ parents worked in NGOs and embassies with three-year contracts, many people left by the time we started calling each other ‘friends’. However, this also had a perk. It meant that we learned to meet and become friends with people really quickly.

Even with years and years of practice during childhood, saying goodbye is still not an easy thing to do.  But I realized that it’s a big part of traveling (and living) to be able to share certain moments with someone and then simply move on hoping to share similar moments with them in the near future. And if I was going to pack up and travel, I’m going to have to really get used to it.

You’ve seen me mention it a few times but I haven’t really talked about it. I have been volunteering at Hostelling International Boston as an activities volunteer – which I absolutely love. Because staying at a hostel is about meeting people, having fun and discovering the city, I take a group of travelers out to various activities.

Hostelling International Boston

For now, I’ve been to bowling with a group of Australian, British, Kiwi and American travelers, to karaoke with a group of travelers from too many countries to list all and went on a Harvard Tour meeting some more awesome people. I absolutely love it that I’m getting out of my comfort zone of meeting the same people I see in Boston everyday and instead, meeting so many different types of people from all over the world. I had a great conversation with a British traveler who works at a bike shop, had a great time with Dutch travelers who were absolutely fun, have learned bowling from a Kiwi who had a broken thumb and listened to fascinating stories about lifestyles in Slovenia.

All this is wonderful and I learn so much about different cultures and different peoples’ lives. I also get to hear about why they are traveling and the stories of places they’ve been to – which of course inspires me to get out there even more. It’s funny how we click instantly and hang out like we’ve been friends for a while. Hanging out with them reminds me of growing up in an international school with friends from all over the world.

However, another hard part I have to deal with is saying goodbye to all these awesome, open minded, fun travelers who have to move on to their next travel destination or to go back home. Kinda wish I could keep all of them here since I have such an amazing time with fellow travelers. I know that once I start traveling more long term, I’m going to have to do more of saying ‘hello’s and ‘goodbye’s. So I see this as a great practice.

Thank goodness for Facebook, Twitter and blogging so I can keep in touch with all of them. Now I have more people to hang out with while I am in England, someone to stay with when I’m in Amsterdam and have added Slovenia to my Euro Trip plan! ;)

For now, I’m gonna stick to saying ‘see you later’ rather than ‘goodbye’
since I will make sure I see all of them, if not, most of them soon.

Challenge #5: Book a Ticket and Just Leave – A Nomad’s Life, I Dream

I’ve shared this image before – and when I wrote the post back in April, the gist of it was that I would so much love to just pack up and leave but don’t have the guts to. Well – I never was able to shake off that feeling. However, three months later, this feeling has grown and instead of being frustrated and scared, I am ecstatic beyond words – why? because I have decided that I will indeed just pack up and leave.

I think that I’ve become braver or maybe even reckless but I don’t want to sit and fantasize about things anymore – and I feel like it shouldn’t be as difficult as I let it be. A week ago, I was invited to be a speaker at a conference in India. While before, I would have said no even if I wanted to go badly, I am now actually considering going – I just need to buy a flight ticket when logistics are confirmed. I am also planning a three-month trip to Europe in March when my visa runs out at the end of January.

Why a sudden change? Well – going to the Nomading Film Festival was one thing – meeting travelers who are out there living the life has made the little nomad inside of me want to get out there too. Second, I’m kinda sick of trying to figure out jobs and settling down and whatnot. I’m only 22 years old and society has made me believe that I need to have things figured out, have a stable job that I can stay for years – umm.. no thank you. Not yet at least. And last but not least, I’ve been volunteering at Hostelling International Boston where I meet great travelers with amazing stories from around the world. No offense to my beautiful people in the U.S. but I feel like I’ve been culturally deprived. That’s evident especially if I have a great time talking to a British Backpacker on the different English languages for two hours straight and have a blast – that’s saying something! It’s saying that I love culture, talking about them and learning about them from people – and being here has made me extremely culturally deprived.

I’ve always been a planner and have always wanted stability. That’s why I went through the rough patches when I graduated and couldn’t figure out the visa problem.  My sister said to me back then:

“Don’t be afraid of the uncertainties, be excited for the infinite possibilities..”

To be completely honest, I understood what that meant in my head. I knew that was how I should feel but I never really appreciated the meaning of that until recently. Now that I don’t only think it but also feel it, I am excited beyond words.

I need to get myself out of here and I will get myself out of here. Help me plan my trips to India and Europe. Any tips and links to blogs you love to follow can help immensely.

Happy travels everyone – and get out there when you can!

Challenge #4: Get off the mat

I’m always going on and on about how much I want to do outdoor yoga or go on a yoga retreat but I’ve never been able to commit myself to do any of those. I got a mini-taste of outdoor yoga last week – I finally decided to get out of the studio and go to an outdoor yoga event. Thanks to Eventbrite Boston (@BriteBoston), I was able to attend Outdoor Yoga with Bre Nourse held at 40Berkeley.

40Berkeley is a nice little hotel/hostel located in Back Bay on.. 40 Berkeley St. (shocker!) and the event was held in the little garden section. With pretty lit candles, the venue was perfect. Being surrounded by trees, wonderful breeze and awesome yogis was exactly what I needed. It was a little loud with cars and trucks driving past from time to time but it was almost like white noise since I focused more on the little birdies that chirped and hopped around the branches above me.

Thanks Eventbrite BostonBre Nourse and 40Berkeley for letting me complete this challenge! Definitely made me want to get out there and actually find more outdoor yoga opportunities than to sit here and write about ‘em! ;)

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Have an amazing day off tomorrow & Happy July 4th! :)