Monday, December 20, 2010

20SB Blog Swap

After having my blog swap partner bail on me last minute, I complained on Twitter. Krista (who I’ve known since high school) saw my Tweet and offered to exchange posts with me. Thanks so much Krista! You can read my post here.

I decided to try out this Blog Swap thing hosted by 20sb, however, when it came time to partner up, my partner never replied to my e-mail. But... things work out for the best sometimes! My friend, Angela (who I mentioned in my earlier post) had a similar predicament where her partner bailed on her. So... in the spirit of blog swapping, we swapped each others' blog posts! And mine goes a little something like this...

Topic: “Action. What will you do next year that you've been putting off for too long?"

It seems that setting things aside to do another day happens all too often for me. Certain activities will pique my interest, and I’ll make a promise to myself that I’ll do it when I’m a little less busy… when I have more time. The truth is that I never really have more time. If someone—anyone—“doesn’t have time to do something,” it means they won’t have the time to do it. What this entry is about is doing what you want to and finding ways to achieve a sometimes very ambitious goal.

Something I’ve wanted to do for years was to travel again. When I was younger, I travelled a lot on my own to visit someone I was dating in Florida. I started travelling across the border-- flying on airplanes-- on my own at 15 years old. Back then, I would work and save money to travel to visit my boyfriend. I can still recall how to get around the Houston, Denver, and Orlando airports with relative ease, despite me not visiting Florida for 3 years at least. That’s how much I travelled (and oh, how simple life was back then).

I stopped travelling when I started to attend University. I believed that, because of school, I wouldn’t have the time, money, or resources to travel until after I finished. I also had other commitments. I had to work when I wasn’t going to school (and even during) to pay for living expenses, tuition, and textbooks. I have a condo that I help pay for with my current boyfriend. I have a lot of other duties that I need to attend to. I was in a routine and quite comfortable, as oft routines go. I believed that if I left on a trip, everything would change in my daily routine and that I would get uncomfortable.

The trick of it is to change your mindset, which is something I ultimately did. I was craving doing something amazing with my life. Life is short, afterall. So in November, I took the plunge and decided to go on a field study to Ghana, Africa. The brochure described the opportunity as “An experience of a lifetime,” which was later echoed by one of the professors heading the expedition in an information session I had gone to. The kicker was that this trip would cost somewhere in the jurisdiction of $8000. Despite working so much, it seems my wages only go towards living expenses and helping to pay for the condo. The truth is that I don’t make enough money to pay for all of the expenses above, and I need to take out student loans to pay for my schooling. Where would I get the money to pay for this trip?

I got sad thinking about it at first because as things went right then and there, I wouldn’t be able to go. Again: changing your mindset helps. I asked myself some critical questions: do I really want to do this? Well… yes, of course. I then asked myself, how can I achieve my goal?’ My mind reeled with ideas of fundraising, working hard, accepting donations, and spreading the word about my plan.

Currently, I’m doing all of those things. I’m exhausted, but I don’t care because I know that in the end, all of my hard work will be worth it. I motivate myself every day. I try to think positively about things because it helps to smooth over any bumps that pop up in my mission. I leave in May, so I have a ton of time to earn the money necessary to go on this trip. So far, things are looking good!

I plan on documenting the entire 40 days I’ll be spending in Ghana via my blog and videos. Although my goal is to get to Ghana, my primary mission is to encourage people to get what they want in life. I’m not a person who has things handed to me on a silver platter--quite the contrary. I was raised in a way where my mum taught me if I wanted something that I needed to get my hands dirty a bit (or a lot) and really strive to obtain it.

It’s not often opportunities fall on people’s lap. That’s simply not how life works for the common person. If you want something badly enough, sometimes you need to make the time. Positive thinking helps a lot, too. Give it a try!

Is there something you’ve been meaning to do forever that you may try to do now?

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