Fare thee well SF...see ya in a year!

Trip Start Dec 17, 2009
Trip End Nov 01, 2010

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Concentric Media

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For as long as I can remember, I have had "a world tour" as one of the items on my "Things To Do Before I Die" list. Back in college, I thought I would be able to accomplish this by working towards my "traveling documentary filmmaker" career, getting paid to travel the world and make movies about other cultures and religions--how sweet would that be?! But alas, in the past three years, out in the real world, no one has been busting down my door to try to give me money to make the film of my dreams. So now I'm taking things into my own hands.

This is not to say that I suddenly arrived at this conclusion to fulfill my lifelong dream upon waking up one random morning. It actually happened under rather unfortunate circumstances: In late March of this past year, I experienced a potentially life-threatening drug reaction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevens%E2%80%93Johnson_syndrome) from some antibiotics that I was taking for a mis-diagnosed staph infection (talk about Year of the Ox-bad luck!). On one of the late nights of that miserable episode, when the reaction was at its peak and I was tossing and turning in pain, it dawned on me, "This could be it...and I still haven't done any of the things that I've written down on that life goals list." That night I made a vow to myself: If I were to make it out alive, I would start checking off those To Do items immediately.

A month after my recovery, in May 2009, I decided that I would finally take my long-awaited "world tour". I started filling up my savings account, and my boss, Dorothy Fadiman, so generously offered to let me stay at our production office (a residential house) rent-free so that I could maximize the savings process (Thank you, Dorothy!).

Now, six months later, I am gearing up for my year of funemployment. The plan: to travel through Europe, Southeast Asia, Asia, New Zealand, and possibly South America (if funds allow). I honestly have no concept of how far my money will stretch, but that's the beauty of this trip: It's on my time and my schedule, and no one else's. My goals:

(1) to make a documentary centered on the question, "How does one live life to the fullest?", soliciting answers from people from all walks of life (family members, friends, Zen monastics, hippies, professors, urbanites, farmers, fellow travelers, etc.) and showing how they live their lives;
(2) to figure out what I should do with the rest of my life, career-wise and lifestyle-wise; and
(3) self-discovery (in the vein of personal development and spiritual progress).

To accomplish these, I plan to stay in Zen Centers and temples in Europe and Asia, stay with and interview locals in both cities and the countryside, and stay on organic farms in New Zealand and South America. For the greater part of this trip, I will be traveling alone. But I am not going "by myself"--I am going with myself. This next year I will become my own best friend. And if I get only that, and nothing else, out of this coming year, I would consider the trip to be a success. Wish me luck!!
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Kristen on

I miss you already! More blogs as you go please, they are fun to read-- it's like I'm there-ish. Almost. Kinda... did I mention I miss you? ;D

Hope you're having some blizzardy adventure over there.

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