Late Night Thoughts

I don’t know what it is about music but a note, a beat, a lyric, a voice or even a song in general can spark such an emotion in me. It brings back old feelings, makes me think harder about current ones and even makes me ponder the future. What is interesting about this is that the type of music doesn’t matter. The most recent song that I have been playing on repeat is “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck. All I can think about when I hear the alto sax solo is that I want to get my alto sax out and learn the solo, and start playing more in general.

It doesn’t stop there though. The song, the beat, the solo, all of it makes my brain fire in so many different directions with so many different thoughts. It makes me think about all the traveling I have done and all the traveling I want to do. Where I want to go, what I want to see, what I want to experience and even who I want to do all of that with. I am thinking about how I want to travel. Planes, trains, tours, car, or even backpacking?! Do I combine some, or only do one of them? Do I want to make plans, or don’t I?! I like both ways and have even done both. There is a sense of adventure that can’t be beat when you land in a foreign country and have no idea what you are going to do, or even where you are going to stay. I have had some of the most amazing adventures, conversations and experiences of my life with strangers.

Another thought that keeps creeping into my head is this desire to go back to school and pursue a Masters degree. I always want to keep learning. There is no greater asset in life then knowledge and I want to gain as much knowledge as possible. I recently was talking to my mother about this and I believe she agreed but its all about education and traveling. In my mind they go hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other.

Anyways, late night thoughts ramble over for now!

BTW, go check out some of Dave Brubeck’s music, you won’t be disappointed…

What’s Next?

It is an interesting feeling when you plan for one thing for so long and out of nowhere plans change. I understand that at some level we can’t control anything in our lives, all we can control is how we handle what comes our way. I thought I would be in Ukraine right now and for the next 23 months with the Peace Corps, but that changed in a moment when I hurt my shoulder. All I can do is ask, “What’s next?”

What’s next is an amazing opportunity for me. I have been offered and have accepted the position of Israel Engagement Fellow with Oregon Hillel serving the students of the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. This means I am moving to the West Coast! It will be a drastic change for this East Coast boy and his dog Maverick but we are up for it. I am excited that I will be interacting with students and helping them with their Birthright trips and their connection to Israel. Plus I get to go on the Birthright trips to Israel with them as a trip leader! This means I can continue to explore my connection to Israel too, a country I am very passionate about.

Am I where I thought I would be right now? No. However, everything happens for a reason. We can never stop learning and we can never stop exploring. What’s Next…

Plans Be A Changing

I can honestly say that right now, at this very moment I’m not where I thought I would be. I am at my parents place recovering from a major shoulder surgery, watching the NBA Finals and America Ninja Warrior with my dog Maverick snoring next to me. Where I should be is at my permanent site in Ukraine doing Community Economic Development with the Peace Corps. Due to circumstances beyond my control I have been medically separated from my service in the Peace Corps due to my shoulder injury sustained in Ukraine. Am I sad? Absolutely! Am I going to let this situation keep me down? No way!

My family, friends and myself put a lot of time, energy and effort into getting me ready for Peace Corps service and for that I want to thank everyone who helped me and I am sorry that I was not able to complete my service. It’s life after all but a new plan is starting to take shape and updates on that will be coming up shortly. All I can say for now is that whats next is very exciting! As my parents say, “Everything happens for a reason!”

For now, I am recovering from surgery. It is going very slowly but it is going good. I have my good days and my bad days but that is to be expected. I look forward to a great snowboarding season once I am fully recovered, in 4 more months.

To my fellow 49ers: do great, have fun, make a difference and learn something!

10

Anybody who knows me knows that 10 is my favorite number. I always play it in roulette, I always wear it when I play sports and it always cheers me up when it randomly shows up in my life. Why is 10 such a big deal to me and why am I writing about it? I will explain…

First, why I am writing about 10. Today marks exactly 10 days until I depart Miami and head to Ukraine to start my 27 month journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer doing Community Economic Development. 10 days out, its crazy! I remember being 60+ days out not long ago but it is creeping up quick. I am excited, very excited but also it is starting to hit me how long I am going to be gone. I have been gone for a long time before; when I studied abroad in Australia and even when I did my internship at Disney World but neither had a length of time that sits in front of me. The funny thing about the length is the fact that I am going to add 2-3 months on top of my service to backpack through every country in Continental Europe before I come back. I am even going to hit up Africa with a stop in Morocco.

Next, why is 10 such a big deal to me? Many reasons! I was born in October and October is the 10th month of the year, only seems natural, right?! In an interesting coincidence I was also born at “10”:11pm. Yes, I know it is weird, but it is just another way of showing 10 in my life. Being born at 10:10 would have been better but that is my fault, I mistimed my entrance into the world. In soccer, my favorite sport, the best player on the team usually wears 10, and so I always wanted to wear that number. Whether it was true or not that I was the best player on the field, I believed it and I wanted to wear 10. Usually did and still do to this day.

I hope this explained a little bit about why 10 means so much to me. 10 days out from a 30 month adventure. Let’s get it…