Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Journey From Home

Today I am sitting in sunny Santa Barbara at The French Press, drinking a cup of coffee and utilizing the surge of caffeine to be productive. I am enjoying flitting around this wonderful city, encountering the plethora of beautiful friends I have made and wandering through the mysterious and ever colorful crevices of my home. Each day presents me with a new agenda that I can be sure will be full of laughter, movement and adventure. I see familiar faces every block I walk of downtown, and I can give anyone directions to anywhere here. The shops are shifting towards corporations, but the feel is still charming as ever. Santa Barbara has an idyllic perfection to it and I feel unbelievably grateful to call it home.

It is hard to believe I have to leave this place again. Every time I come back, I get pulled into the Santa Barbara magic and forget that any other place on earth exists. Santa Barbara is a part of me and I am a part of it. However, recently I have realized that I fall in love with a lot of places and the groups of people within them. In all of these places I leave a piece or two of myself that I encounter and remember when I come back to them. It is as though I have horcruxes being buried all over the world!

There was a poem that I read recently that was the catalyst for my next journey. I was sitting in my comfortable room, in a comfortable bed in Santa Cruz, trying to sift through my mountains of books that were supposed to somehow end up crammed into my brain so I could "learn," when I came across this poem:

"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"

WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;         5
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

-Walt Whitman

Almost immediately following this poem, I accepted my admission to go to Chile to study.

I am starting this blog in Santa Barbara to have a starting point of who I am. For those of you who don't know, I will be traveling for two months and 12 days in Chile on a program called Wild Lands Studies. We will be researching and learning about ecosystems and conservation in Patagonia and Southern Chile. I don't know anyone on my trip and I have never been out of the country for more than 3 weeks. I am diving into the unknown to LEARN in a way that I believe people should learn. I feel fortunate beyond measure, and grateful to everyone who is a part of my life. I hope to share my adventure with you, and that whoever is reading this is adventuring to.

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship." ~Amelia Earhart

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