The semester is over. I’m on winter break at work. I’ve got two weeks of downtime (well, after today, really just one — seeing as how a week has managed to slip right past me). I am officially in my new apartment, and I sort of love it. I say “sort of” because the process of decorating (and, more importantly, buying furniture) is both exciting and exhausting. I’d really like it all to be done. I feel a bit like I’m bleeding money. And if you know me, you know I don’t particularly care for bleeding money. I much prefer to hoard it. Ah well, soon enough, it will all be taken care of.
In so many ways, life is moving along pretty damn perfectly. I love my job, I have a beautiful apartment, and I’m planning some awesome trips in the new year. Which, of course, means I’m sort of waiting for something to fall apart. Things don’t generally go so well, not without a few hiccups. I’m trying not to think about it, but it’s hard not to worry. This is an unfortunate part of my genetic makeup.
Enough of that though, because I’m seriously excited about my travel plans for 2012. The other day I was sharing these plans with a friend, and it dawned on me. 2012 is going to be one damn good year. At the end of March I’m heading to Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Conference on Science Education. Sure, Indianapolis isn’t the most exciting destination, but I hear the conference will be awesome. Also, I’ve never been to Indiana, which means I’ll be one state closer to achieving bucket list item 40, visit every state in the U.S. From Indiana, I fly home, and the next day I hop on another plane, destination Peru. I can’t even begin to tell you how ecstatic I am about my Peru trip! I’ll spend one week with my friend, Christy, exploring Cusco and Machu Picchu (where I’m seriously thinking of mountain biking to the ruins). The second week, I’ll be on my own, exploring the Amazon rainforest. It might just be the coolest thing ever in the history of ever. I’ll be biking, kayaking, tree climbing, bird watching and just plain acting like a kid in a candy store. It will be serious amounts of awesomesauce. Seriously.
You might think my travel year is pretty much tops with the Peru trip, but there’s more. My summer travel plans are starting to form. First stop — Mazatlan, Mexico. A few days lounging on the beach and hiking a local island or two should get me ready for my real summer adventures. Although I don’t have all the details set, here’s what I’m thinking: four weeks in Guatemala and one week in Honduras. Gautemala = one week at a jungle lodge, complete with waterfall hikes, caves and hot springs; one week trekking to El Mirador, a spectacular Mayan city still buried deep in the jungle (plus, the obligatory stop at Tikal, the very well known and well touristed Mayan ruins); one week exploring the phenomenal natural wonders that are Semuc Champey and the Lanquin caves; and one week I’m not settled on yet. Perhaps I’ll explore some more natural wonders — Guatemala seems full to the brim with those. Or maybe I’ll check out one of the cities. I’ve heard great things about Antigua. We shall see. No rush to figure that out. But before I depart from Central America, there is one thing I know for sure — I’ll head to Roatan, Honduras for a week of beach, sand and diving! Yes, I’m going to learn to scuba dive!
I sort of want to pinch myself. Is all of this real? Seriously. Is it? It’s pretty damn fantastic that I love my job and it allows me time to do the other things I love — like travel. For reals, folks. Sometimes, life rocks.