I have not updated this blog in a very long time. The 2nd half of 2011 flew by so quickly, it's unbelievable. Let me recap:
  • Graduated with a master's degree in May
  • Sold all my major furniture, my car and my apartment
  • Bought a one way ticket to San Francisco to train for my summer job
  • Met awesome people at job training
  • Led 15 teenagers to go surfing, river rafting, scuba diving and sailing in Costa Rica and Belize
  • Returned to California for a 3 week road trip from San Francisco down to San Diego
  • Spent a few days in Las Vegas and Washington DC before returning to my home base in North Carolina
  • Spent a week and a half unpacking, then repacking to go work on a cruise ship
  • Joined the cruise ship in Vancouver for 3 weeks in Alaska in September
  • Re-positioning cruise to the Caribbean through the west coast of the US and Central America, through the Panama Canal up to Florida
  • Worked 10 and 11 day cruises to the Panama Canal from Florida until the end of December
All in all, I've seen 8 new countries this year and parts of the United States that I had never seen before. I've made really good friends and had a lot of fun! It has been an awesome year and I am even more excited for 2012!

I have been looking at flights to San Francisco for about a month. I knew when I needed to be there for staff training, but wouldn’t pick a date to leave. Now that I know more details about my trip assignment, I figured it was time to book that flight. I was extremely nervous when I found a flight that fit the dates and price range I wanted. I’ve flown lots of times, why was I so nervous to book this flight? I decided to get to San Francisco a few days before I need to be there for training. For one reason to make sure that all of my belongings arrived on time, and also so I can explore the city. I visited for a few days with my family when I was 12 as part of our big road trip. All I remember are trolley cars and Alcatraz. However, this time will be my first real “solo” trip, even if it is only for a few days before staff training. There will be no family members, friends, or even a volunteer group to greet me at the airport when I arrive.

In previous trips I have flown alone, which I have no problem with. This time I have to plan the itinerary of what I want to do, where I want to stay, and how to get around. I realize this is still the United States, so I’ve got the home field advantage. In some ways that makes me more nervous because then people may expect me to know everything already. I am excited and nervous and look forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I finally went for it and bought the ticket – One way to San Francisco at the end of May!

If you have any suggestions of things to see or do in San Francisco, please let me know!