Sunday, November 25, 2007


So as I sit and wait for time to go by (and pray for a flux capacitor to fall from the sky and 1.21 gigawatts of electricity supplied by a plutonium-powered nuclear reactor or simply a bolt of lightning to power my 2005 Hyundai Tiburon into the future), I've decided to begin my blog.
What it's gonna be about you say?
Oh, well as some of you may know back in 2003 I came up with the grand idea to take a trip around the world for one year, with only a backpack (contents of course being limited), some fine boots, and $20,000....and as some of you may know, that never worked out.
Being only 18, in a relationship, and going to school full-time I let my fears conquer my passion and drive towards this goal. With the $15,000 I had saved up I purchased a new vehicle (see above), went shopping, and continued to go to school. Here I am 4 years later, 4 years older, after numerous breaks from school and recovering from a head first plunge into credit card debt ready to achieve my one-time goal once again.

I've learned a lot in the past 4 years and feel that these lessons are what will propel me to succeed at my dream of long-term travel.

-Debt is horrible, it's a terrible feeling to go to work everyday knowing that every dime you make that day is already spent.
-Clothes are not a necessity, okay so they are (see Genesis 1.26-27), but in moderation.
-I'd much rather spend $4 on wooden hut on a beach in Koh Samui than $4 on a Starbucks Grande White Chocolate Mocha.
-Changing everything about yourself, your life, your plans, and your dreams to be temporarily happy and not alone (aka in a bad relationship) are not where it's at.
-Saying "I'll do that another time" or "one day" translates to "I'll probably never do that because I do not have the courage, self-confidence, nor trust in myself to accomplish that." That can apply to cleaning your room or traveling the world.
-I'm not getting any younger.
-I'm not getting older any faster (see above on relationships). I've always been in a hurry to get a career, become part of a cube-farm, meet that person, get married, and have children....pledging to be an eternal (or at least until retirement, hoover rounds don't make it on the Annapurna 3-week circuit) member of the rat race. When in all actuality I should be living my dreams and most likely on my road to self-actualization will I fall into the perfect career, meet that person, get married, have children and still not pledge to be an eternal member of the rat race (not I! I say).
-The fears will always be there but I will not let them be so strong as to overcome my will or want to succeed in accomplishing my dreams.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain"
-There are millions of other people in this world, a million more potential best friends, inspirations, loves, experiences to learn from, and wise words to hear.
-I've always kept up with the blogs of other people traveling around the world, living precariously per se, through them when in reality I can easily be doing the same thing, accomplishing, and learning a lot more than sitting here in swivel chair in front of this bright screen getting carpal tunnel.

....and here I am, with no idea (well 194 countries of ideas) of where to go, little money, a car payment, a year and a half of school left and this dream. After much tossing and turning, swivelling, reading, driving, and googling....I have some sort of plan. I've not spoken to anyone about my plan, I've kept it to myself for reasons of fine tuning (of which I still have a lot to do) in hopes that the more 'real' (believable) it sounds the less people will laugh at me about it. I can't hold it in any longer, I need the feedback of my close friends, net friends, and family to make this plan a reality. Here's my plan or plans if you will, I'm unsure as of which path to take to achieve my dream:

1. Start back to school (already have my classes chosen and school loan approved for Jan. 2008 at MTSU), finish with an English degree (French/Psychology minor) in 1 and a half years.

~Pros: A degree, can easily get a temp job overseas or possibly even permenant job teaching English for extra money. A degree.

~Cons: School loans, less time to work to save money, gas money driving to and from school (a good 30 mile drive), long time before departure.

2. Start back to school, work and save money as best can, when I have enough, degree or no degree leave on my trip.

~Pros: Shorter amount of time before lift-off, some schooling out of the way.

~Cons: No degree, school loans lingering upon return, less time to work and save money.

3. Work, just go to work full-time saving money, no school.

~Pros: Leave sooner, more money saved in shorter amount of time, no school loans.

~Cons: No degree.

Those are my plans and the lists of pros and cons for each plan I've compiled. What do you think?
And so here I am, with a very unclear plan not really knowing where I am going, putting my faith in life to guide me. My courage is sometimes high, sometimes low, but one thing is certain, I want a world in which I can feel and experience the every day reality. The world is so much more complex than what we could ever comprehend. In order to reach a glimpse of that reality level, we must let go of control and detach ourselves from what we consider our reality. I want this new world to be how I remembered my first day at school, my first kiss, my first love, the first time I put on ice skates, the first time I traveled to a world unknown by me, and basically, any first time I did something. Only then was my mind pure, untouched by too many concepts, unbiased. I want to remember this child naivety, this state of consciousness where there is only us, not all of our fears and expectations taking all the place.
Only at the end of this road will I know for certain what I came here to find, but the fun and personal growth are acquired by walking the path, they are not in the final step or in the final answer. May I be able to access and understand my reality and mold it's impact on me as I go, enabling me to be my own creator.


Anonymous said...

Why does one choose to travel? What are the reasons?

If it is to the see the world and experience different cultures then it is safe to say that you wish to be come more worldly and gain wisdom.

Wisdom is kin to knowledge and knowledge is available only to those who seek it.

From here it seems safe to say that you want to travel because you wish to seek knowledge.

If you want to seek knowledge then finishing your education would enchance your future travels by eneriching them with all the knowledge you will have going into it.

Think of your education as a source of light and your travel as a dark cave. As you gain your education the light source grows and you can see more of the world around you as you travel. While your trip would surely be a positive and educational adventure it would provide much more life experience when coupled with an education.

Kailani said...

Words of wisdom from a true greek god. :)
Thanks Naki. You're awesome.

Opal said...

Yeah ummm... I have no great words of wisdom like Naki does! All I can really say is I'm sure no matter what you choose, you'll be happy with it, and I'm sure it will be the perfect decision because I know that you really do have a good head on your shoulders! And I need to call you to talk to you about tomorrow, Mona gave us the morning off!! :)

And oh, I never check back to a blog to see if the blogger commented back. I know some people just do it that way but I can never seem to remember to go back and check it, ya know?! So I'm only telling you so you don't get the impression I'm ignoring you or something!

Kailani said...

Yay for Mona! So now we can do our Christmas party planning. =)
Thank you Opal! I'm not sure if you'll check back on this comment but I just want to tell you anyway that I am lucky to have a friend like you. I love you!

Courtney said...

As I write this to you, I am sitting in a lecture on Modern British Politics in Grantham, England. For the past four months, I have been traveling from country to country, soaking up different cultures, studying occasionally, and having the time of my life. This adventure is indescribable. It isn’t merely a scrapbook opportunity. It is life changing. Completely and utterly life changing.
I am so excited for you and this wonderful possibility. I, too, had doubts about doing this. It is a risk. It is a fearful unknown. It would be much safer to have stayed at school, following the traditional four year plan. But today, I want to slap myself for ever doubting myself and my capability.
So, here is my advice to you, friend: do it. Don’t think about it. Don’t analyze it. Don’t worry about it. Just do it. Start saving money. Start doing some research. And do it, Kailani. This is your time. This is about you and your adventure. Noone else. You won’t regret it. I promise.

In order to change the world, you must first see it. Go see it, girl.

I get back in 2 ½ weeks. Let’s get together and talk.
Love you and can’t wait to see you!

P.S. Why can’t you do both and study abroad? Here, I have class Mon-Thursday and then travel to a different country every weekend. It doesn’t have to be either-or. You can find a program that works for you.

C.J. Redwine said...

Well Courtney said what I was going to say...find a study abroad program that works for you and then stay a few extra months (like a summer) to see whatever else you want to see. Then you accomplish two goals at once.

I passed up an incredible study abroad program at Pepperdine because I didn't think I could afford it and I have always regretted that lost opportunity.

Kailani said...

Courtney and CJ: WoW! haha what you said is so inspiring =) I can't freakin' wait for you to get back and hear about everything. I was thinking of doing study abroad but I want to see a lot of Asia (Russia), etc.. as well as Europe. I was thinking of finishing up my degree in English and heading out with that, so in the event I find a place I'm especially enamoured with I can possibly do some TEFL. On the other hand I am EXTREMELY impatient haha, but either way I still have a lot of saving to do as well as planning (which I love to do), so that'll keep me busy ;)
I do though have all these incredible friends, like the both of y'all, Opal, Naki, etc.. that are inspiring and amazing beyond words and with y'all behind me I know I can accomplish this! =) I miss you tons Courtney! I look at your pictures all the time!! (see blog "living precariously through others") I love you bunches and can't wait for your return! Thank you both for being incredible by the way.

BlueDragoon25 said...

Wow Kailani. I have been procrastinating to read this since I heard you put it up, you are amazing at putting your thoughts on paper! My only advice is to not procrastinate like I do so often. I don't see you as being that type of person though. If you can get into a study abroad program, awesome! Otherwise, I would finish my degree before, just in-case you come back and need a job/money right away. With a degree, so many more doors are open to you! I would buckle-down, spend a few hard semesters pushing through school with my head down and work all I could. I know you're not me, this is just my opinion. =)
Whatever you choose, do it passionately. Life without passion is worthless, an empty shell.

Love you. =)


Kailani said...

Hey Paul (cranberry muffin), thanks so much for checking my blog out and replying. I value your opinion tons because you have a good head on your shoulders. I'm going to go ahead and start back to school on Jan. 9th and try to get as much done as possible and save save save. I still have tons to do before I'd even be able to go on such a trip so I guess why not be going to school while getting the other stuff out of the way, I've decided. I have to sell my car (poor lucy!), pay off one more credit card bill, and save...uh..a lot of money haha. =) Thank you so much for being a great friend. Love you bunches buddy!

Jim G said...

Speaking as a 42 year old who only recently (2004) convinced my wife to take a little walk across northern Spain.... for the love of Pete, travel!

Jonathan is right to question why you want to travel, but from my own experience the real reasons for travel find you on the road. You'll go places, sure, but it's the people you'll meet and the things you'll see in between what you think of as destinations that often matter the most.

Education is important, but there's nothing that says you have to go to college (or grad school, for that matter) right now. I did an undergrad/grad stint, then 15 years of work, and then went back to grad school, and now am back in the field. It can be done.

And while I'm at it (and as the first voter in your poll), I'll offer my opinion on where to travel, too: avoid the ordinary. Mainstream Europe? Lovely, but let's face it: if things go well, you're more likely to be able to go there later. Try for something more exotic, or at least off the beaten road a bit. China is changing rapidly; you might get to see a side of it that will disappear forever soon. Several countries were accepted into the EU today - a visit there now will reveal countries that will likely be strongly influenced by their membership in coming years.

Best of luck to you.

Kailani said...

When you say walk across Spain did you walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela? If that's what you are talking about I've looked into walking the same thing! =) Anyways! Thanks for voting on my poll (I just took it off to put a link to a CD my church made, but I plan on putting it back up again in a week or so).
I have the same thoughts about mainstream Europe, I'd like to make my trip last as long as possible as see as much of the "somewhat unseen" world as possible (Asia, Africa and Middle East). All those destinations being so cheap I'll be able to spend more time and see more in those continents. Europe is so expensive and I plan on taking another trip in the future and just concentrating on Europe. I think I may just visit a few of the Eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Poland, then head to Russia.
Thank you so much for your input!!! Keep in touch my friend.
Merry Christmas.

Eric Skiff said...

Hi there - I found your blog through the picture above (the flux capacitor drawing lives on my site, glitchnyc, so my blogging software reported it as an incoming link).

Many parts of this post are profound, and it sounds like you've learned a lot of the important lessons that will help you be happy and fulfilled.

That said, if a vote from a stranger means anything, I'd strongly encourage you to finish up that degree. School is mostly an endurance test, and although the vast majority of my learning happened outside the classroom, I'm proud of the fact that I finished my degree, even though it meant missing out on some opportunities that came my way.

When hiring, I find I look for a degree not so much as a symbol of intelligence, but as an indication that someone can follow through and complete a difficult task.

Getting that silly piece of paper means that you don't have think "if only I had a degree" every time you fill out a job application. Even if it doesn't directly translate to a job, you'll never regret doing it, and you'll be honoring the time and money that you've already invested.

Anyway, just 2c from a random blog reader! :) Hope whatever you choose brings you happiness.

Kailani said...

Hi Eric!!
First off I'd like to say thank you for the Flux Capacitor drawing, almost every hit I receive is from a google search done for the flux capacitor, I find it so amazing at the amount of people who google that every day!! =)

Secondly, I'd like to thank you for stopping in and taking the time to read my thoughts and plans! I appreciate your feedback and you'll be happy to hear I start back to school on Jan 14th! I'm really excited about starting back to school because I know the sooner I get back the sooner I will finish, enabling me to travel and in turn TEFL along the way making me more travel of course!

I already struggle with the fact that I have not finished school already (should've been out by now!) and I know the longer I put the completion of my bachelors degree off the longer I will have the negative thoughts, which in a way hold me back. Perhaps a degree will motivate me to travel even more so than I already am.

Also, there is always spring break and summer to take mini-trips (practice trips!), I'm thinking of taking a trip this spring break, I feel the need to gauge my travel capabilities and see if I can in fact survive with only a backpack living in hostel dorms! =)

Your vote means a lot to me, thank you for the advice and once again for taking the time to stop by and comment on my site! Now I'm off to check out yours!!!
Nice to meet you by the way! Keep in youch my friend.