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Five Travel Goals

Since I will be on the road for most of 2009 and this trip is bound to be the most adventurous yet, I created a list of six goals for the journey.

During this trip I am going to:

1. Dream in Spanish
I can speak Spanish and communicate fairly effectively, but my grammar and speed need improvement. I’ve heard that once you become fluent in a language you then have dreams in that language – so I not only want to speak Spanish well, I want to wake up in the morning with Spanish in my head!

2. Pull My Weight
I’m not going to take the role of “the girl” on the trip. I anticipate that visiting Ramblers (friends who plan to meet up with us at various points on the trip), will be male. This is only because the people who have expressed real interest in the trip are all male. I want to learn how to use a pocket knife, change a tire, navigate, etc. I even want to finally learn how to open my own beer with a lighter! It may sound silly, but these are all aspects of my daily life and/or travels that I let someone else handle.
NOTE: I am notorious for my terrible sense of direction. Is this just ingrained in my brain, or can this condition be fixed?! Better navigation skills are definitely a priority.

3. Love (and Keep the Love)
I am going to live with my boyfriend in a truck for 8-9 months… is this isn’t a test, then I don’t know what is (what is that you say? Marraige test? I think he would prefer that you and I not discuss that right now). I commit to being patient, optimistic, conscientious, and above all loving throughout the trip.

4. Seek Out Opportunity
I am going to create the experiences that I aim to have, and not wait for them to come to me. I am especially interested in the cultural immersion that is possible during this trip – getting the “authentic experience” of a given town or neighborhood. Digging underneath the surface of tourism can often be time consuming. Tourism is designed to offer ease and comfort, which I can find tempting. Talking with locals (which is also a good way to work on Goal #1), and taking time to just ramble are two ways to find experiences off the beaten path.

5. Document, Document, Document.
I am going to document my life – and then share it over the internet with as many who care to read. Documenting takes a lot of work! I not only want to write, but to explore the possibilities of incorporating pictures, video, and sound to record my experiences. I strive to take this project as far as it will go – from writing articles in national travel magazines, to recording audio narratives for This American Life, or even having a portion of the trip filmed for an travel/reality show. Who knows? These are the big fantasies, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

I would love for all of this Ramble Writing to create an opportunity for a second trip. In order for my job description to be A Ramble Writer, I need to create a sustainable source of income. It will just take a bit of creativity… and a lot of work (fun work, of course).

I also want this Ramble Writing to create opportunities for others. I would not have agreed to leave for such a journey if my good friend Carissa had not gone on a similar trip (she and her boyfriend, Josh, traveled by bus from Guatemala to Argentina). After reading their blogs and talking about her experiences, I gained enough confidence to commit to a trip of my own. The scariest aspect of travel is my anticipation of the unknown. Hopefully the information I provide through RambleWriter.com will dispel the worries that I often hear from others, as well as give practical advice for traveling anywhere you choose.

These are the five goals that I aim to accomplish – and will accomplish! More info about these specific goals will be documented as I ramble along.

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