the end

After eight years, I have decided to bring my online blog to a close.

Things are much different than they were eight years ago. When I started blogging, it was to try and fit in with all the cool kids who had their own online blogs. I wanted to say I did the things they did, knew the things they did, started trends the way they did. Back then, I only wrote about the good stuff. A few years down the line, I only wrote about the bad stuff. Nowadays, I write about the inspiring stuff.

But none of that comprises the entire story. Because of the nature of blogging, my words become public domain, and there are some things I'd rather not have the public know about. Over the years, blogging has transformed from a kind of personal exhibition to my own personal reflection, so I'd prefer to keep it like that. Personal.

I will continue writing on my own. I'm toying with a couple of subject blog ideas, but who knows if those will actually come to fruition. For now, I'll keep my words to myself and see where the future takes me.

Thanks to those who have followed along all these years. It really was nice to be heard.

Goodbye, blogosphere. It's been awesome.


the beginning

I have three weeks left on board the Carnival Sensation, and I can't help but sit in awe, thinking about the things I have accomplished in the last five and a half months. In at time, I've learned and performed close to 200 songs, some of which were of genres that I previously wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot pole; I've lost a total of 25 pounds and increased my strength by leaps and bounds; I've gotten out of debt and began saving money for the first time in three years; I've seen tropical fish, ran across pristine Bahamian beaches, toured the navigational bridge of our ship, eaten dinner with the ship's captain, learned archaic words and read books by some of the greatest modern authors, dominated in trivia, witnessed the final launch of the Discovery Space Shuttle, partied like a rockstar, shook my hips to foreign music, conversed with a pirate, shot a fire hose out of a moving vessel, flipped a capsized life raft, and did flips off a flying trapeze; I've broken up with a boy and said goodbye to another; and I've made what are sure to be life-long friendships.

Best of all, this is just the beginning.

Every day, I send my eternal gratitude for my blessings and good fortune. While it might just be enough to say that I am thankful for a job that lets me do what I love, the true experience comes from the opportunity to travel and learn about cultures other than my own, making me a wiser, more compassionate, and effective member of our society. Also, the exposure to a new locale made me aware of how important it is to preserve our environment and the beauty it holds.

From here on out, it only gets better. I will definitely be sad when this all comes to a close, but there are so many more great adventures that await. If all goes as planned, I will be traveling to 18 countries in the next ten months (not including the U.S.). It has been a lifelong dream of mine to travel the world, and this is the moment it all begins for me. Incredible.

I plan on embracing the next three weeks and all that it brings. It's going to be one hell of a sign off.