About Me: I've decided to document my attempts to plan and prepare for a year of living what most people in my day to day life refer to as "stupidly" - that is, I want to take time off to participate in service learning projects in developing countries.

One of those unfortunate twenty-somethings whose college graduation coincided with the breakdown of the economy, I've struggled for the past couple of years to find domestic employment. The plan has been to save up enough money to make regular payments on my education loans while abroad.

I had been planning to take off within the next few months. However, a recent (make that very recent) near deadly car accident has set me back both in the health and financial areas. Spurring my decision to write are the resulting cognitive troubles, which have caused me many dark hours. It is hoped that this documentation process will be a form of rehabilitation and a source of motivation.

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Hey there! Welcome to PulseWire!

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Hello Ellie, Thank you for joining the PulseWire community! I am really intrigued by your first post - mostly because I think your 'stupidity' is actually a bunch of courage, curiosity, and agency. How far were you in your plans? Did you already have a place or an area of focus in mind? I wish you the strength for a full comeback, so that you can realize your plan in the future. Looking forward to hearing more from you, Andrea

Thanks for the welcome, Lilith! Thank you also for your take on my plans for "stupidity" - it's nice to hear a supportive voice for a change!

I had been planning my trip for about 4 months. I wanted to volunteer my way around Latin America, and, if I was able to save enough money (which was doubtful), I thought heading to Southeast Asia would have been a good learning experience, too. Now, trying to recover and deal with all that comes with it, I don't know when I'll be able to go.

I was excited to see you're based in Portland. I want to live there one day.

I've been breeding a similar plan for a while... spend two or three months volunteering in Guatemala, Chile, or Peru to work on my real-world education, and then head to Indonesia or Thailand whenever I get to travel again. Maybe we'll get to meet somewhere on our paths. Where do you live now? Can you travel at all at this point? I have an extra room, so if you just need a time out and a small-scale adventure, feel free to make it yours for a while. Do you have any idea how long your recovery will take - physically, at least? All the best to you, Andrea

I've always wanted to go to Indonesia! It'd be so exciting if you went. I'd want details, details, details. More exciting would be if our paths did cross. How funny would that be? :)

I'm in Los Angeles right now, and nope, no traveling for me. I just started physical therapy this week. My progress in meeting certain goals will determine how long it'll be before I'm up and around. Best case scenario: I'll be just about back to normal by Thanksgiving. The pain and any lingering memory loss might stick around a bit longer. I think I'll just be happy when I get to the point where I can breathe without pain.

Thank you so much for your incredibly generous offer! I may take you up on it one day. You may just regret it :)