I have some news! I’m leaving for the States for a few months! I’m taking part in the Christian missions program called YWAM. The DTS I’m doing is combined with an art program called Marriage of the Arts (MOTA) which provides training in everything from music to writing to fine arts and I’m participating in the photography track. I’ve got so many emotions about this decision and I figured what better way to organize them than to ramble on incessantly about them on my blog, right? Yeah… probably not, but I’m going to anyways so please, bare with me as I hash through my feelings towards this in way too high of a word count. I also have a couple questions to ask at the end of this!
(I would like to preface the rest of this by saying that I in no way intend to turn this blog into a pulpit. I believe what I believe and I believe it ardently, but I began this blog as a travel blog and a travel blog I intend to keep it.)
How it came about is when my close friend, Willow, mentioned she was planning on doing a DTS in British Columbia. I’ve always known about YWAM and the work they do but until then I had never really given much thought to it. We chatted back and forth about the possibility of maybe taking this DTS together. It was a little late for me to be committing to the program she was doing as it was August and it started halfway through September. So, I browsed the YWAM site for a few days looking at different dates that would suit me better and found the MOTA DTS program which didn’t start until well into January in Sarasota, Florida. Not only did the timing work better for me (it gave me just enough time to work towards paying off my car in full), but the arts angle totally reeled me in. I called Willow to tell her about it, half begging her to apply for the same one, before applying for it myself.
Willow still decided to pursue the program running out of BC – which has currently got her working in India at this very moment. I got all excited and hurriedly filled out the online application forms anyways and then I just stopped and left them open and yet to be submitted. I did, after all, want to make sure that I was doing this for the right reasons. The minute anything travel related is mentioned I tend to sort of develop tunnel vision and not see anything outside of that one word. This program was about so, so much more than simply ‘travelling’. When we were talking about doing the BC program it’s somewhere that’s close enough to home (by Canadian standards) for me that it never really registered as any sort of ‘travel’ except for a disgustingly long drive from Central Alberta. So, I had never viewed it as anything else but missions training and work when considering that one. I guess I just had to check myself a bit when I found myself starting to get carried away with the whole “I’m going to Florida! I need to go see the Everglades, DisneyWorld, Daytona Supercross, etc” line of thought.
I am going first and foremost for missions as well as to study and practice my photography. However, I’m not going to lie, getting to go and see new places is a very happy byproduct. The fact that it’s in sunny Florida and not in snowy, winter-not wonderland Alberta (it was a face freezing -36 celsius today ok) makes me quite happy. There are people coming to participate in this program from so many different places around the world and I find that a very exciting prospect as well. I get to spend the next few months living in an environment with this diverse group of people who all share my love of Jesus, the arts and adventure. I’ve been in contact with a couple of the people whom I’ll be there with and they already seem lovely.
I know that this program will see me in Sarasota until April and then us students will be shipped off somewhere else for a few weeks to two months before wrapping up in Germany at the end of June as the originating school is in Herrnhut, Germany.
Inadvertently, I’m hoping that this whole endeavour helps me get over my inherent shyness too. Voluntarily placing myself in a situation where I’m to be constantly surrounded by people I don’t know is in and of its self a huge leap of faith for me. So, here’s to hoping that I don’t completely freak out and die of anxiety. I really do feel like that is one of my biggest hurdles, as a person. Like, if I could just not be so scared of doing something wrong or offending someone I feel like I’d do so much more sometimes. First world problems, I know, but it’s something that legitimately affects me and how I make decisions and I know it’s something that I need to work on.
So….. that was basically my very long winded way of conveying that I’m most likely going to be fairly busy for the next few months and that I sincerely hope you guys will stick around for my newest adventure
On that note, I’ve got a request and a question:
- The request: I’m actively soliciting guest posts! I’m even currently in the process of ragging on my mom to write one about her and my dad’s recent trip to New Zealand.
- The question: I’m wanting to change my blog name and I want to hear your ideas. As I mentioned here, my little bro picked ‘Travel Togruta’ and as much as I adore him, Star Wars, the fact that he named my blog, I think/hope I’ve outgrown the geek reference by this point
(As an aside, I’d also like to mention that I’m doing this without having done any fundraising and completely on my own dime. My parents gave me the flight for Christmas because they’re awesome)