That about sums it up, now doesn't it?
But I'll expound.
But first, I'll say this:
I am leaving in 3 weeks.
And would you really expect anything less from me? ;)
I mean, when I CAME to NYC, I only gave you 4 weeks notice.
So there that is.
In light of some recent events and happenings, combined with close to lifelong dreams that are making my feet itch, combined with news of dear friends relocating to far off places and inviting me to join them... this quick decision has been made.
I've been in New York City for well over a year now, and it's been amazing. More than I ever could have imagined or dreamed. I know that it is no small thing that years from now, no matter where life takes me, I will be able to say that when I was only 20 years old, I picked up and moved to one of the biggest, harshest cities on earth for no other reason than that it exists. Also, I know that it is no small thing that years from now, no matter where life takes me, I will able to say that when I was 21 years old, I was a part of the creation of a global non-profit that is responsible for the rescue and renewal of lives for countless of women around the world.
No small thing at all.
I have also met some of the most incredible human beings on the planet here in this city... in passing as well as in the sense of building deep and lasting friendships- some of which I know will absolutely not change over distance and time. No matter what.
But the fact of the matter is, is that I have been in New York City for well over a year now, and I am not ready to settle down yet. Not even close. I am only 21 years old and there is so much of the world left that is calling my name. It's there to see and mine for the taking, and should I not reach out and take it, I would never be truly content.
More importantly, there is something that I have, for years and years, known that I've needed to do. We all have those things on our lists to do or accomplish or gain, and for me, it is Kilimanjaro. Sounds ridiculous, maybe, but it's true. After climbing my first mountain in Africa, I've been hooked. If you know me at all, you already know this. On top of that, there have been many things that have made me miss living in Africa very much and living with Mercy Ships even more. On top of THAT, some dear friends of mine from that time in Africa are moving to Tibet in August to live in the Himalayas for the next 10-15 years and have told me to come whenever for however long I'd like.
Anyway, without making this much longer than it needs to be, I've made the decision to move myself back to St. Louis for the next year in order to prepare for the travels I will begin after my brother's wedding sometime early in 2011. The plan is to return to Africa with Mercy Ships for however long it feels right to do so, and then head to Tanzania after I feel it is time to leave. In Tanzania, I will climb Kilimanjaro and then make my way to Tibet to live with Ben and Rosie in the Himalayas until, once again, I feel it is time to go.
There is no time frame on this journey- I'm not setting one. I am going into this with no expectations of what will happen when or what I will do after it's done. This could be anywhere from a few months to a few years. I just don't know. And I like it that way. :)
I realize this all sounds ridiculous. But I'm ridiculous. And as my dear friend Lindsey pointed out when I told her of these plans about a month ago, "You've never once said you were going to do something and not done it." And if you ask me, that's a pretty damn amazing thing to be able to claim as true for yourself- and have it observed by others in your life.
So here it is.
I'm saying it.
Guess that means I have to do it now, huh?
STL, I will see you January 21-28.
NYC, I will be saying my goodbyes to you on the 21st, and then returning briefly with my dad to gather my belongings and move them back to STL around the 28th and 29th.
Minneapolis, I will be hanging out with you for the month of February.
And STL, I'll be back to stay for the long haul sometime in March.
Until leaving the United States until further notice in 2011.
It's good to be alive.
Those of you in NYC, please let me know when I can see you before I go.
I will do all that I can to make time for you.
Those of you in STL- Get excited!
I love you all.
Your Wandering Gypsy Friend,