Greetings, or should I say ‘Selemat Datang’ (welcome)!
I am excited to announce the creation and commencement of my travel blog which I will be using over the next ten or eleven months. This blog, along with my email, will serve as my primary means of communication to those back in the USA. As most of you know, I will be headed to Malaysia on January 2nd to begin my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
My itinerary is as follows:
Hartford, CT –> Chicago, IL –> Singapore –> Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Since graduating in June the months have slowly crept by. It seemed like this trip was so far away and as I sit here writing this I have less than three weeks remaining. On one hand I am ecstatic for what lies ahead. I have never had the opportunity to leave the country and now I will be spending almost an entire year in a foreign land. I can’t wait to be teaching my students, and I look forward to what I will learn from them as well. The country of Malaysia is intriguing, and everything I read or hear only adds to my excitement.
The most common question that people have asked me since I received this grant (besides are you flying Malaysia Airlines?), was are you nervous? I’ve told everyone the same answer and that is no. I’m not nervous at all to be a teacher. I love working with kids and the prospect of traveling all over south east Asia is exhilarating. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people, places, and things that I will miss dearly. First and foremost, pizza and cheeseburgers. Don’t worry I’m only joking, somewhat. What I will be missing the most was exemplified at my going away party this past weekend (12/6). It meant the world to me that so many family members and friends could be there. As I looked around the room at one point I noticed that there were people from all different parts of my life. My family was there who were generous enough to plan and throw the party. They are my rock, who have stood by me throughout all of my transgressions as well as my accomplishments. There were others that have been with me from birth, my neighbors and the head of my day-care as a young child who have had a profound impact on my life. There were family friends, casually reminding me of embarrassing dress-up stories as a child. My guidance counselor was there, who kept me on the right path and helped guide me to the wonderful place that is the University of Scranton. There were plenty of others. Fortunately, I also had some of my best friends there to share the moment with. Those from West Hartford who have put up with me for over a decade at this point. Even my two best friends from Scranton, whom I met on the second day of school freshman year made the journey to see me off.
It’s time like these where I realize all that I have to be grateful for. Family, friends, and an opportunity of a lifetime. As mentioned in the description of this blog I believe everyone’s life is an adventure. An ascension of a mountain. Each person’s climb is unique and filled with obstacles, challenges, and adversity. It will be rocky and steep. Climb steadily. Stay focused. When you reach the top you will understand that the view has justified the journey.