Check out my Tedx Talk on the Taboos of Poo at Gettysburg College in 2013
This isn’t the first time I’ve packed my life into one backpack and headed to a new destination with no plan. Instead of a plan, I carry a longing to discover, learn, and be surprised. Nothing concrete, everything malleable — easily shaped into something new and formerly unknown.
I did this the first time in 2010 after graduating from college. While studying abroad in Bolivia I learned about the 2000 Water War in Cochabamba. I became passionate finding solutions to the global water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis, and applied to jobs and internships through idealist.org. After a handful of offers, I decided to try my luck in Guatemala with an organization building rainwater catchment tanks. Within the first few weeks I realized the fit wasn’t right. However, through that experience I was introduced to a water organization with more experience and was offered a job.
Because of my eagerness to learn, I absorbed all information I could about basic engineering and construction management. I connected with the Peace Corps in Guatemala where I trained and advised volunteers on appropriate technology and practices.
The series of experiences that led to a successful and productive two years in Guatemala reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:
Do not follow where the path made lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Each one of us is a unique individual and no matter our age or experiences, there is always a new trail to forge. Instead of weighing pros and cons of an opportunity, I ask myself if I am ready for a new commitment, journey, and reality that only I can create. if the answer is yes, then I go.