Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And Then.

I stretch out my hand and take up my pen
I search my heart and soul, and then
I touch my pad and begin to write
I struggle with my thoughts, both day and night
I strive to find that voice within
The one that guides my life, and then
I think of light born and shadows falling
To create a world of words, a poet's calling
To express with form, make the real transcend
Bring still things to life, tell tales, and then
With a stroke of my brush across an empty plane
I offer up my life, my joy, my pain
Share the eagle's flight upon the wind
Sing the mournful song of whales, and then
Speak of bird and bee, of hawk and dove
Speak of birth and death, of truth and love
Of God and man, of stars that spin
Of angel's eyes, of grace and sin
To give to all my now, my when
In hope you'll feel my gift, and then

The Road

Sometimes I wonder if I'm where I'm supposed to be,
or if I'm who I'm supposed to be...
I wonder what this life has in store for me.

Sometimes I feel sure of what I want and where I'm to go,
Other times I feel lost and try not to let it show.

I live my life from day to day,
and love everything in every single way.

But sometimes at night I lay and stare,
and hope for answers through answered prayers.

Do I go left or should I choose right,
the roads are as dark as a moonless night.

I hesitate not because I am scared,
and not even because I am unprepared.

I sit an ponder which road to choose,
simply because I don't want to loose.

To make the wrong choice would be hardest to bare,
or is that God's intensions...a double dare.

A dare to take the road less traveled,
and risk the road chosen to become unraveled.

Although it may seem like the road is too slick,
doesn't us taking it make it the right road to pick?

So then we must wonder is there a right and wrong path,
or simply 2 different ways for us to do the math.

However we add it, it equals the same,
but the method used to get there is what makes the game.

So although I feel lost from time to time,
I take great comfort in the fact that the choice is all mine.

I can choose to go left, or I can choose to go right,
either way in the end there's a golden light.

So although we may wonder which path to choose,
we must remember in life we have nothing to loose.

Whichever choice we make, A or B, the one we choose is meant to be.

So instead of trying to force life to fit, just let life happen and enjoy it.

It's going to work at its own pace, life is a journey not a race.

So sit back and enjoy this precious gift,
and when the gears need changed don't hesitate to shift!

No Escape

I want to run,
But there's no where to hide.
I want to understand,
But there is no guide.
I want to cry,
But I don't have a single tear,
I want to talk,
But there is no one to hear.
I want to scream
But I have no voice.
I'm trapped in my thoughts,
I have no choice.


I watched the night descending, as feathers float and fall,
Creeping, slowly gently to wrap its velvet shawl.
The daylight shadows shrinking and fading out of sight,
The dusky grey's transforming to blackness of the night.

The silent, eerie blackness dew fervor from my breast,
It told me these cold shadows were on a deathly quest.
I crouched as I reflected, my knees beneath my chin,
This helped to keep the cold and keep me warm within.

A cringing, wretched creature, my arms tucked around my head
A lonely hungry vagrant, I sat in servile dread.
Recalling my past blunders, drink and drugs and sin,
My faults that left me friendless, rejected by my kin.

A worthless human being, when I was still quite young,
How then upon life's ladder I reached the bottom rung?
This life that I have wasted! Why was I put on Earth?
Is this what fate intended – right from the day of my birth?

The darkness got much darker, my eyes, they could not see,
And my thoughts and oneness appeared to part from me.
Teardrops glazed my eyesight. I shivered, smiled then cried.
The knell of death was sounding. It rang, it called, I died.

Night Train

The car is nearly silent as the train rolls gently on;
The sunsets long behind you, and there's hours yet to dawn.

The gentle rock and sway become the rhythm of your mind,
A numbing repetition that will lead you to unwind.

You watch the darkened land go by, silent in the dull
And eerie light that glimmers as the moon is waxing full.

From somewhere in the darkness
Comes the whistle's lonely wail-
The haunting, stirring echo that's the voice of the rail.

The words begin to gather and you take in hand your pen
And smile a little, knowing that it's happening again.

For nothing in creation will compel a soul to write
Like staring out the window of a moving train at night


Tomorrow is the day in which you fulfill all your dreams,
Accomplish and attain that which you have yet seen.

Still, in my heart, for tomorrow true love you shall find,
Your desires will all become real, all in tomorrow's time.

Around the corner of the season, just beyond the bend.
Is the hint of the birth of Spring and the Winters end.

Its is coming soon, the day will be an end to your sorrows,
All shall be well in the promise of everlasting tomorrows.

Tomorrow you shall go out and run around and play,
But that is tomorrow; you don't have enough time today.
You say I don't have the time for that now, but tomorrow I may

So you put it off for later, and convince yourself it will be fine
Your goals will all be taken care of, all in tomorrow's time,

Until you suddenly realize, when the tomorrow has come,
Today has now become yesterday, and you didn't get anything done.

So you put it off again, thinking that the next day there'll be a way
So you never get anything achieved, because tomorrow's now today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who Say's You Can't go Home?

Wow, how things can change in a matter of days. Well, as most know by now, I have resigned from the position I accepted in Bonn Germany. Without going into details, as they are not important at this point, I will say that I am not willing to lie down and be a doormat. I am deeply hurt by this, as I was looking forward to living and working in Europe.  But at the end of the day, you have to be happy right?  You have to do what is right, no matter what anyone else thinks.  I know there are several people who think I am foolish, a complete idiot, and perhaps don’t agree with my choices. My comment to them is to let me live my life, and you live yours. I don’t always make the choices others would have made, and sometimes that leads me the long way around, and sometimes I get lucky and find a short cut. But at the end of the day, it’s my life, and I stand by my decisions.

My adventure surely doesn’t end in Europe. It’s just beginning, just down a different path. I have had a wonderful 52 days of living, working, and touring around Europe. I have had the pleasure of visiting the Following countries: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, England and Scotland. I’ve been able to bring back so many memories from each of these places, and truly loved each country for different reasons.

I discovered a lot about myself in each of those places, the good the bad, even the really ugly parts of myself. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I have been really angry and confused, but I’ve learned how to adapt, let go and move on. Its funny how being angry is easier than letting it go. I’ve always felt that if I let something go, I was giving in, and as stubborn as I am, I couldn’t ever give in. I think it’s a family trait I have inherited as us Koop’s are quite stubborn people. 

I’ve also met a friend along the way. Someone who accepts me just the way I am, stubborn, moody, bossy, and at times a serious bitch. Sometimes I don’t understand why he sticks around, but he does, and I am very grateful for him. He has definitely taught me, or more so made me learn about patience and slowing down a bit. I was able to meet his family on my trip, and think they are a wonderful bunch of people. I was nervous, and a bit apprehensive, but it was long overdue. Meeting someone’s family, gives you a better insight to someone I think. I can honestly say, the little things that I didn’t understand before, are a little clearer now, and that is very good.

I am in Seattle now, back to work and trying to wrap my head around living in Seattle again. I am on the hunt looking for a place to live, a car, and a new way of life. I told myself, if I came back to Seattle, things would be different, as I am different. I know 52 days isn’t very long, but I’ve changed since I left, and even though, I am back to my old job, and city, I don’t have to go backwards in my life. I have already made some changes, and will continue doing so.

So even though, my living abroad came to an abrupt end, my adventure doesn’t end there. Stay tuned, as I will continue to write, it just may be about different things.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Before I left the US, everyone asked me what I was going to miss. As I thought about this, my thoughts, were:  obviously my friends and pets, but perhaps my language, my car, my sense of knowing where I was, and where I needed to go, and HOW to get there, ingredients that make up my favorite food, American food period. But after being in Switzerland for a month now, I have come to realize that yes I miss everything I listed, but what I really miss right now is space. Space to spread out my clothes, space in the bathroom, space to make a mess in the kitchen, space in the office, space to have a personal phone call, space to be by myself, space to think, space to breathe. I haven’t had the opportunity to sit and be alone, and ponder what the hell I am doing. It’s nice having people around, but it’s also nice to be able to escape and retreat when you need to re-charge, relax, think about what you really want, and what you have done. It’s been hard to sit and think about my thoughts, and then get them onto paper. This has never been a problem for me, as I love to write and get my thoughts out.

What is wrong with me? I need some space. Back home, this was never a problem. Yes, I lived with 2 roommates, of whom I miss every day, but they gave me space. My house was large, and beautiful, and very spacious. I had a kitchen that was large enough for 20 people,  I had a closet so large, I couldn’t dream of filling it. I worked in an office full of people, but I had my own space within that office. And, even with all this space, when it just wasn’t enough, I had a friends cabin that I could retreat to, anytime I wanted. These are the times, my thoughts and feelings flowed freely. I was in a place where I could sit, think, relax, hike, eat, laugh, write, and above all else, breathe!  I miss walking around the mountain valley, feeling very small, pondering life. Searching for fossil rocks, blazing trails thru the forest, and early morning walks before the sun rises, the dew is still on every leaf, and the world is quite. I miss this, terribly.

I’ve never been a person who depends on others, quite the contrary, I’ve grown up thinking I couldn’t count on anyone. I know that is not true, but still a battle I deal with from time to time. The past month, I have relied too much on my “friend” who has been with me. I don’t want to be alone, but at the same time I NEED to be alone. So, what happens? It’s simple, I need to be alone, which is easier said than done. Before I came here, I had ideas of what I was going to do, and where I was headed, and when I think back on that, I was alone. I need to be alone, for now. This is my life, and I have to be selfish and think about myself until I get to a point where I feel comfortable with myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dark Cloud

It’s been a few weeks, a few cities, and few countries since I last wrote. I was not feeling very wordy lately, and am now just starting to feel that I that I have something to write about.

I should first start off with, that my intentions of writing this blog are not only for my travel experiences but also to share my journey over the next few years and something I can look back on and remember. It may not come in a form of a pretty little package with good warm fuzzy travel stories, but rather it may come out in the real Raw Amanda form as many of you know me to be.  I know that this blog is seen by a lot of people who do not know me very well, and I may over share at times, I may say things that don’t make sense, I may even shock a few of you, but hey, that’s me, Amanda.

I love to write, but like I said it doesn’t always come out in the best way. When I was packing up from Seattle, I came across a few poems I wrote, yes I write poetry too. As I was reading them, they were dark, sad, tortured, and to say the least a bit depressing. Upon closer look at the date, and reminiscing with my good friend about what was going on in my life during that time, I wasn’t a sad, going thru a tough time, or even depressed, quite the contrary. It was a time where I was happy, and things were really going good for me.  Sometimes my feelings come out and even I don’t know where they are coming from, so keep that in mind as you read through my thoughts, poems and these blogs.

A friend, who lives in Europe, has been with me since I arrived in Amsterdam, so that I would not be alone during this difficult time of transition. While at times I have been glad to have someone around, I also wonder what I would have done, or be doing should I be alone. I like things just so, and it makes it difficult when you have to think of another person. I am grateful for him though, and know that I would never have done some of the things I have done thus far.

So, moving on, I am at the moment in a hotel in Bonn Germany. I have been here for 4 days so far, and leave in two. I have been looking for a place to live come November. I have a relocation agent who has been helping me meander thru the task of searching, and after 3 days of looking, I have found NOTHING.  There were a few cute places, but either was too small, too far away, or just too expensive.  I have 2 months of temporarily housing once I move here, but really wanted to get settled, move in, and have my pets shipped over the beginning of November. It doesn’t look like any of that will happen, and while that makes me sad, it also allows me to find a place that I truly love, and that is good. I want a little piece of paradise when I come home. I know that may sound crazy and not realistic, but I don’t know how to settle for anything less. What I want is a nice little house or apartment with my own private garden, 2 rooms, a living room, a bathroom and a kitchen I can move around in, oh yeah, within 15 minutes of the office too. That’s not too much to ask for is it? The hunt goes on.

 I really like it here, more so than Basel, Switzerland. In fact, I haven’t enjoyed my time in Basel at all. The country is nice enough but WAY too expensive. I’ve had a rough time adjusting to my surroundings, and I just feel like a dark cloud is following me around there.  The apartment I am staying in, is cramped, filled with the smell of smoke, and as far as amenities, there are random kitchen utensils, and at most, I get 2 of each, plate, glass, and silverware. I have a landlord that comes into the apartment whenever he feels like, even while I’m there WITHOUT knocking, and a 100 year old cleaning lady that speaks the fastest Italian I have ever heard. Even if I was fluent in Italian, I don’t think I’d be able to understand her. The office is less than a 5 minute walk away, which is nice. Without going into details about the office life here, let’s just say, I am not in Kansas anymore!!!!

A few weeks ago, I did have the chance to travel a few hours up into the Swiss Alps to a small village called Lauderbrunnen, which was simply quite amazing. It was good to get out of the city and get into some nature. When looking into the forest, it’s a lot like Washington or even parts of Alaska. We stayed in a cute little chalet that overlooked the town, which was surrounded by sheer rock mountains, and waterfalls everywhere you looked. The air, was crisp, the grass a vibrant almost florescent, green, and in the distance you hear clanging bells from the sheep that graze the entire country side. A thought that kept coming to mind… More Cow Bell???

During our stay in Lauderbrunnen, we went up to the third highest peak in the Bernese Alps, Jungfrau Mountain. Talk about amazing. It was a bit cloudy, but the views were awe inspiring, the snow was refreshing, yet freezing cold, and the air was very thin. While at the top, we did some hiking around, inner-tubed down the mountain, and I even built my very first snowman of the year.  For eyes, I used some euro coins, a nose, a penny, and for arms I broke an emery board in half, and he came to life. He was so cute. I decided that after our photo shoot, to leave him behind so that all others could enjoy him as well. The best part came about 10 feet away when some other travelers started lying in the snow to take pictures with him. It was awesome! My little snowman, created, and situated 13,642 ft above the world will be in photos that will travel the globe, talk about world traveler that little guy.  I even got some photos, of the people posing with him.

While on the mountain, we walked thru an under-mountain, manmade ice sculpture cave which was pretty interesting; all that was missing were some ice skates. The ice carvings were amateur, and simple but still fun to look at, and being sandwiched between two large slabs of ice was pretty cool to say the least.  After the chilly experience and a million photos later, we descended in our little tram that took us back to Lauderbrunnen.

If you know me, you know that I LOVE coffee, so it was important to find a place once we got there. Lucky for us, or for my friend, there was one directly across from our chalet. To our surprise, it was run by Australians, which just so happen to speak English. The cafĂ© reminded me of a place back in Kodiak, called Mill Bay Coffee. The staff and other coffee goers were friendly, the food was delicious and the cappuccinos were delightful. I have come to appreciate hot coffee since moving to Europe, as the Europeans don’t like ice very much for some reason. The food in Switzerland is overpriced, and really nothing to write home about. Most of our meals have been prepared at the apartment (I refuse to call it home) and very rarely we eat out.  I know I make it sound awful, and while it is for me, it could be, and is a very happy place for many people. I am not good at standing still, and I want to start my life in Germany. I feel like I am on hold, and I don’t do well, on hold. I have made a mental note for when I get back to try and enjoy the last 4 weeks of my living there. Take things as they come and relish in the notion that I won’t have to live there ever again. Visit often, yes, but nothing compared to living.

Back to where I am at now. Bonn. As I said, I really like it here. I feel like this is a place I could stay for awhile. Everyone has dogs here, there are lots of parks, and everyone I have met thinks my accent is charming. I’ve even had one lady tell me, I speak very good English for being an American. I wonder who in the world she has she been talking to?  I have lain pretty low and haven’t done a lot of tourist things upon arriving here, as I will have plenty of time in the next year to do things, but today I think we are going to take a boat trip up the Rhine River. It’s a bit grey today, but as they say in Seattle, if you wait for the rain to stop, you will be waiting forever! So… Off we go to play in the rain, on the Rhine.

Things I’ve learned:
I am not good at following someone who doesn’t want to wait for me.  Life is what you make it, but sometimes life is just shit, and every now and then I think everyone needs to experience that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome to Brussels

August 29, 2010

I have arrived in Brussels, Belgium without any delays along the way. My flight over was amazing. I was asleep before the plane took off from Seattle, WA and woke up shortly before landing in New York. I guess it pays to only have a few hours of restless sleep the night before. I had a 3 hour layover, and seriously thought about hopping a train to the city, but decided against it. So I took a seat next to a window and started reading some literature, you know the good stuff, Us Weekly, People, Glamour, when a lady about my age sat next to me. We started chit chatting and about where we were headed and why, turns out she was going to travel around Europe by herself. She had planned a trip like this every year for 5 straight years with an ex husband, friends, when something always came up on their ends forcing her to not go. A few years ago, she read a little book you may have heard of, called Eat, Pray, Love. Way before the movie came out she decided that she was going to take this trip by herself. She reminded me of my dear friend Katie, and people like that inspire me, and still inspire me to get out and see the world. If they can do it, I CAN DO IT!

Anyways, I flew Jet Airways India, and I can’t rave enough about this airline. So, when you all come to visit me, look into this airline. WOW, is all I can say, talk about Luxury, even for the coach folks. That airline is first class all the way! I was so busy in my seat I didn’t have a chance to sleep at all on the 8 hour flight. Each seat had its own television, which had over 100 movies, music, games, history, sports, news, anything you could want to keep yourself occupied, was right there. It even had a function to IM another guest in the airplane, so Kim, the gal I met chit chatted more during our flight. Simply the best experience I’ve ever had on a plane, with one exception of flying first class to Mexico with my best friend.

I arrived in Brussels, Belgium a half hour early, and cruised right on thru customs to baggage claim. After getting 2 suitcases, and waiting for a 3rd, I saw my name being waived around on placard; it was my driver looking for me. He helped me with my HEAVY luggage and whisked me off to my hotel Novotel, which incidentally in the middle of Brussels city center. Check in was a breeze and after wrestling with my suitcases, I made it to my room. After a hot shower I decided to take a little nap before I went out exploring. My little nap turned out to be a 10 hour nap. Ooops. So much for getting out and exploring, which was okay, since everything is pretty much closed down on Sundays.

I was up this morning at about 330 bright eyed and ready to see the world, however it was still very dark outside. I waited till about 530 and decided to take a walk around. These are the very first photos I have taken since being here, more will come.

The hotel I am staying in has a buffet breakfast every morning and boy oh boy, it’s delicious! I forgot how wonderful the food is here, this time around is a bit different though, being I can only take a bite of each delicious thing before I am full. I had memories of when I was 16 years old, in the Czech Republic, flying back to me, when I took a bite of fresh French bread with brie cheese spread, a fresh tomato and crisp cucumber piled on top, I knew I was in Europe. It’s Good to be here. I am truly blessed with this opportunity, and can’t wait to share all my experiences and thoughts with you guys. Well, I am off to meet with my new people at the office.

Some random observations:

Europeans don’t wear flip flops, sure they wear sandals, but not your typical flip flop. Umbrellas to Europeans are like small dogs to American’s, you carry them EVERYWHERE.

I know I will have more, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Adventure Begins -

August 7, 2010

Well I have decided to start a blog. This way, I can keep friends and family up to date on my comings and goings for the next few years.

My adventure begins right now. I am on Alaska Airlines, flight 522, Seattle to Burbank. I will be in the Los Angeles area to see my family, some old friends, and to say see ya later. How much later? I have no idea, as I am moving to Germany to work with my company DHL Global Forwarding. But before I get to my goodbyes, I should explain how I got to this point in the first place.

I first started working with DHL Express in 2002 in Anchorage Alaska. I was 24 years old. I had, had many other jobs, but this I can honestly say was my first “REAL” grown up job. In 2003, the company went thru some changes and all the employees were laid off. This worked out quite well for me, as I was planning on moving to Seattle, WA anyways. For my co – workers whom I adored, it was very unfortunate. I moved from Alaska in October 2003. When I arrived in Seattle, I immediately went to Airborne Express whom DHL had just purchased and got a job right away. Sweet, I still had an awesome job with DHL, or so I thought. During my time with DHL Express I left the company three times, and for various reasons and returned three times. Without going into my hectic, awful time while I was there, I will just say I am happy for that chapter to be closed, but am grateful for the opportunities that were given to me along the way. I had a few jobs in between, but was never away from DHL for longer than 8 months at a time. By the mere coincidence, this gave me the chance to keep my seniority within the company.

In May, 2008 I returned back to the company, but to a different division. I was apprehensive about going back, because my previous years were awful, and some of the hardest times in my life. Along the way I made some great friends and some people I’d rather never see again. So when I joined the Global Bid Team, with DGF (DHL Global Forwarding), I was hesitant, and a bit withdrawn. I was expecting to be in hell again, as I had been for so many years past. What I found out was the exact opposite. I had an immediate friend from my old Express days, to whom I owe the deepest thanks for recommending me for the job. Not only did our friendship grow into something I will cherish forever, I also formed friendships with my co workers, my supervisors, manager, and director. These are some of the funniest people I have ever met, and while we all are completely different, and the majority of them are women, there are no problems within the team. How is it possible to work in a large group of people and adore each and every one of them? It is unreal the closeness of this team, the respect we have for each other, and the friendships we have all made. I have had the best 2.5 years of my life with this team. In my time here, our group has grown, lost people along the way (all of which moved on within the company with the exception of one who is out saving lives as a nurse) and still with each addition and loss our team is just that, a TEAM. We help each other, we play together, we eat and drink together, we cry together, we laugh A LOT together, hell we even camp together. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen. We are lead by an amazing director who stands behind us 100% and fights for our team and I’m sure sticks her neck out more than anyone else does, all for the sake of our team. I’ve learned so much my leaders as well as each of my coworkers. It’s been a joy to work alongside some of the greatest people I know.

At the beginning of January I received a call from a gentleman from our Europe team asking why I had dropped the ball and not submitted part of my project that I was working on its deadline. Quite irritated, I told him to go bark up someone else’s tree, because I in fact submitted it 3 days before the deadline. The breakdown actually happened between a team he worked with very closely. Somehow, we got onto the subject that I wanted to move to Europe at some point in my life to work. Little did I know that the guy whom I had just literally been rude to, was someone who could make things happen, and he did.

On January 28th, I received an email from him, telling me that they wanted to interview me for a similar position that I currently held, that would be located in Bonn Germany. Totally surprised and a bit confused, I called him and talked over the position with his boss. In my head, I kept thinking, is this really happening? I never really thought it would get very far, so I just kept answering the emails, with the thought, eventually they will go away. In April, they asked me to fly over an officially interview and meet the team, so I did, well I tried to. I flew out on April 15th 2010 connecting in Philadelphia going onto Brussels, Belgium. As I was boarding my plane in Seattle, news of the volcano in Iceland had swept the news. I boarded and took off with no worries. When I landed in Philly, all airports in Europe were closed down. So, I got a hotel, and made lemonade out of lemons, even though I’m allergic. I was able to travel around Philly and even hopped onto a bus and made the trek to New York City. What an amazing city, that is. I had never been to the east coast and absolutely fell in love with NYC. The energy, the lights, the neighborhoods, the food and people are all simply amazing. I got a 3 day ticket to a hop on hop off bus and toured the city. I’ve been told that I have seen more of the city than people who actually live there. How is that possible? A city that never sleeps and you they haven’t seen what is in their back yard.

Well I eventually got to Brussels, and in a whirl wind trip I managed to see and do quite a bit. My first dinner was at the Atomium( This structure was built for the world’s fair in 1958 and is one of the most interesting buildings I have ever been in. Here is where I had an interesting dinner, and for the first time spit food into my napkin, and when my new boss wasn’t looking, I hid some of the food I didn’t like under some ice. Shhhh… don’t tell him. The city of Brussels is robust and alive, and enticing. The brick roads, the tall ornate ancient buildings had me wandering in circles without even noticing or caring. One of my favorite things to do is to walk a neighborhood and gaze at the houses and architecture. Imagine standing at the stoop of a building that is older than our country, United States of America, it’s just not comprehendible. I was also able to take a drive to Bonn, Germany where again the buildings are intricate and inspiring, the roads are twisty, and interesting enough to pique anyone’s curiosity. This is where I will live come November after my training time in Brussels, Belgium and Basel Switzerland is over. I found the one and only Starbucks, where I also found other Americans and I can assure you all, will be my home away from home. A place I will retreat to when I am missing something familiar and comforting.

August 26, 2010
I have packed away my life and it’s on its way to Germany, where I will be reunited with it come November. I leave on August 28, 2010 and I have 2 full days left in the United States, a place where I have come to appreciate, love, take advantage of, hate, find comfort in, and more than once fall in love with. People ask me what I will miss the most when I leave; I believe it will be my country. I am an American, and even with all our faults, I am proud of where I come from and who I am. Interestingly enough, I am also, German and Dutch, two nationalities I have not been in touch with, but soon will be immersed into. I am looking forward to finding who I am in these countries, and what these places will ultimately change me to be.

I don’t know how long I will be gone, but I am going to take it day by day and commit a year and go from there. I will continue to write about my experience take photos and learn from the people and situations I find myself in. I am truly lucky to be given this opportunity and very grateful that this small town girl from Alaska will be moving to Europe and traveling the world.

So, stay tuned and return back to read what I have been up to and where I have been.

I would appreciate all of your prayers, thoughts and emails while I am gone and will think of each of you often. So as I said, I won’t say goodbye, but see you later!