Happiness / Inspiration / Travel

International, not just National

For eight months I have been a member of an international pen pal website. Laugh now, but you’ll be begging me to tell you the name of the website when you’re through reading this post.

I’ve met the coolest people on this website. Some may scoff at meeting people online. I only scoff at those who meet their lover online (sorry!).  Every day I am delving deeper into the world of “online friends.” So what if people think it’s weird? I’ve met a guy from Spain, whose parents own a bar in Portugal; a writer and music critic from Charleston, South Carolina (my hometown, though not international); a 24-year-old Ireland-er, set on joining the British Army; and a 22-year-old Ghanian, never short of a kind word. These are the people I am eager to surround myself with.

Next summer I will be traveling abroad. I haven’t mapped out my trip yet and that’s partly due to 1) my inability to make a decision and stick with it, and 2) being too busy with school! I’ve always said that Egypt was my number one, ever since I saw The Mummy and fell in love with the country’s history and mythology. However, now I am really considering going down to South Africa and working in an elephant orphanage. There are so many options, but they’re all possible and that’s what matters to me. I am determined to see the world, even if I have to open another credit card account. Why should money stop us from our dreams? There is at least more to my small apartment on Oak Patch Road.

I must say I have a new found love for Spain, thanks to my pen pal Pelayo (the one whose parents own a bar in Portugal). Pelayo and I talk every day on our iPhones, thanks to a little chat program called WhatsApp. Ever since he and I started talking, I find myself looking at pictures of the country in my free time. On my list of places to see in Spain is el monasterio perdido (the lost monastery) of  Santa Maria de Bonaval, Guadalajara. Not much is known about the monastery, but its destruction is beautiful.

Why is it that the buildings of other countries often seem more beautiful and interesting than those of our own? Pelayo pointed out that he thought Eugene (where I live) is ugly. At first, I was a little offended.. but after thinking about it these past few days, he’s right. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I don’t feel compelled to write as much as I used to. I’m not inspired. When I look at pictures of other countries and envision myself sitting at some sidewalk cafe in Italy, inspiration hits me like that; no more writer’s block.

Flowers do best in fresh soil with lots of sun and openness… Maybe I just need to plant myself somewhere new.

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