A Vagabond Year

December 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

2012 will cease to exist when the Aleutian Island chain off of Alaska crosses into 2013. According to the International Date Line, this will be the last place to leave 2012 behind for the New Year. Looking at a map, I can’t determine why this was chosen as the end of separation between calendar days.

Time zones are an odd thing; they are a creation of man, and have only been around for a few hundred years. Prior to that, humans traveled at a pace slow enough never to notice a difference in time and date. Some countries, China most notably, ignore time zones all together.

Two thousand and twelve, for me,  was a vagabond year. I spent a great deal of it traveling, battling jetlag and timezones more often than I’d care to admit. It has also been a year of great change, some expected but most not. Looking back, I’m really surprised where the last few months of my life have taken me. If you had asked me at the start of 2012, I could have never anticipated what my life would be like today.

Sure, I expected to graduate from Fordham. That was a great day; there was nothing quite like having my Grandfather hand me my diploma as I heard my family (most notably my Mom) cheering in the background. It was a day I’ll never forget, and was surely a highlight of they year.

Aside from that, a lot happened this year that was completely unexpected.

  • I expected to work for a bank, but was given the chance to work on a Fulbright
  • I expected to spend the summer working at my parent’s restaurant, instead they bought a bagel shop and I got a chance to work with Project Breaker
  • I expected to spend the summer in Chicago, but instead got to head to Germany

And then, there were the completely unexpected things that have occurred in 2012

  • I never expected deferring a student loan would be so hard
  • I never expected teaching English to be so hard. I speak English after all
  • I never expected to learn how to make curry or egg nog
  • I never expected to live in a hostel for two months
  • I never expected spending a holiday alone could be so depressing
  • I never expected to go to Nepal
  • I never expected to celebrate Christmas in shorts
  • I never expected to live alone

This past year has been among the most eventful and surpassing of my life; at the rate 2012 has gone, I have no idea what to expect out of 2013. Just because I don’t have expectations doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. My abbreviated goal list includes:

  • Starting my research with SEEDS Microfinance bank
  • Finding a Boy Scout Troop in Trinco to work with
  • Driving a Tuk Tuk across Sri Lanka
  • Get some more articles published
  • Have Sri Lankans open up and speak to me about the war and tsunami
  • Go on a ten day silent meditation retreat
  • Cross some more books off of my reading list
  • Learn some basic programing, probably ruby on rails
  • Figure out what I want my career path to be, or at least the next step