A zooming update

I can’t believe it’s been 9 months since After I left in August I traveled for a couple of months. I first visited friends in Australia where I experienced a bit of reverse culture shock: seeing green grass, birds and level soccer pitches really stand out as the first memories that messed with my brain for a while. Very simple things like being able to drive or walk around outside after dark scared me because I had rarely done that for more than two years. Not all was bad, though. I missed how much more simple and serene life was in Lesotho. Being around so many strangers weren’t that big of a deal for me, it was more just seeing so many white people showing so much skin and dancing that blew my mind. I was definitely not in Lesotho anymore. Shoutouts to Georgia, Maureen, Julian and Will for housing me, and despite me struggling getting back used to this lifestyle, letting me pet some ‘roos and have a great time in western Australia.

 

After Australia I was off to the newly Brexit-ed UK. Of course, something was bound to go wrong at some point. A flub in getting a visa messed up the flight I was supposed to catch after what was supposed to only be a few hours layover in Malaysia. A half hour of freaking out reminded me what travel was all about, and I just started googling hostels in the capitol, Kuala Lumpur (KL), since it was inevitable that I would miss my flight out of there. I decided to stay for a week. BEST. FLUB. EVER! Besides the unexpected heat and humidity of KL (it had just snowed nearly a foot right before I left Lesotho), I enjoyed getting to eat lots of Thai, Malay and other southeast Asian food, going to a dope water park, seeing the world’s tallest twin towers, and meeting cool friends that I would later visit on my next stop. I will for sure visit again and do this area of the world some justice.

 

A brief stop in Dubai was all I needed. I saw the world’s tallest building and payed way too much for a pair of sunglasses. When the pilot tells you “it’s a COOL 37 degrees Celsius here,” that’s a terrible sign! That’s 98 degrees Fahrenheit at 10 am! By 5 pm I was ready to get out of this city and back to the airport.

I finally arrived in London after that unexpected detour in Malaysia and Dubai. I stayed a few days with new friends, George and Cathy, that I met in KL. It’s amazing meeting and forming bonds with people from all around the world! They really showed me everything I could have hoped for: The Eye, Abby Road, a private tour of the British Parliament, Big Ben, MI5, some Harry Potter film sites, Oxford University, Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s home and theatre) and so much more. Thanks so much, George and Cathy for your help in KL and your hospitality in London!

 

Next stop: Iceland. This can briefly be summed up in one sentence. It was the most mesmerizing country and the most expensive country I’ve ever been to! I saw the Northern Lights very faintly. The night before I arrived were some of the best viewings form the city in a very long time :(. I did see the Great Geysir in all its wonder, swam in hot springs and listened to the Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack while driving around. I even convinced my buddy, Eric, to meet me there. Epic times!

 

Then there was Canada. I told people I was flying into Winnipeg and the reaction was always the same: “Why Winnipeg?!” That should tell you a little bit about Winnipeg. Luckily, we drove out of there headed west towards BC. Over two-thousand miles later and I had visited Glacier National Park in Montana, Banff National Park, did an epic 23-mile bike trail called Seven Summits in Rossland, BC and lots of other opportunities to go out for a rip. Robyn and Mikka were the best pals ever!

I got back to the US in time for my cousin’s wedding and then jumped right into the life of the typical American. I was working two jobs almost immediately while moonlighting as a Uber driver. I hated how much of my routine I had lost since Lesotho. I wasn’t reading, self-reflecting or writing as much as I used to. I did take a couple of skiing trips to North Carolina and Salt Lake City to break up the monotony.

After filling out random job applications almost daily for a couple weeks I finally heard back from two places. The first was a position in Hawaii with a wilderness therapy program. Immediately after I got the job offer over the phone with this place, I got an email from a cruise line about a position. Why not just take the phone call and see where it goes. Turned out that the cruise position was a much sweeter deal than the Hawaii gig. But it’s Hawaii, they said.

This is what this whole post was for:
I’m taking my next journey to the waters of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest with Lindblad Expeditions on the National Geographic Sea Lion as a steward. I leave May 9 for Seattle and then May 11 for Alaska where I will board this ship until mid-November. I’m excited and hopefully I’ll be able to share some cool pictures and neat experiences from this next adventure!

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Bon Voyage,
Jody