Peace Corps Ruined Me.

I am sitting here, staring at a screen for almost four hours and my feet numb and tingling with reawakening. The tabs are open and many blog posts are there for my eyes to scan.

Top 3 Places to visit for the end of 2016

Places to Backpack Right Now

Africa and It’s Beautiful Cities

And it goes on and on and sometimes I just bookmark them because the images are too painful to look at.

I am on a travel site, clicking the drop downs and putting down my airport in Lusaka and how far away I could go. And then the dates are the daunting feeling that I couldn’t shake off. How many vacation days can I have? How many moments can I have? How many places can I visit in the small amount of time I have?

Why is this so fucking stressful? Why is the idea of FOMO not allowing me to enjoy the pleasant life I have created? Why do I need to see four countries at once? Why can’t I backpack anymore and see the world with a bag and a charged blackberry?

Because Peace Corps ruined my life. 

I was given an incredible chance to live in a village. Yes, true.

I was given a chance to live in another country in a rural setting for two whole years gaining skills in international development, international relations, public administration, program management and unforgettable memories. Yes, true.

I was given a job where travel was a given. It was encouraged and promoted within Zambia and all around  Africa. I have visited most of Sub Saharan Africa and I am so dazzled and amazed at how much I have seen already that it makes me wish to see all of it.

But Peace Corps ruined me. I want to talk to locals and walk in local streets, have a flair for local language learning and negotiations and working alongside the new friends I would make. Making real connections and working hard to learn the culture and adapt. One month at least is what I put in for my departure and arrival dates. One month is what I need to really experience it. But no one has 24 days of leave when you work a nine to five.

And Peace Corps ruined me so much that I now need to work on my own to even have a schedule like that ever again.

Don’t do Peace Corps. You will fall in love with the world and never have a chance to experience it all after you’re done. Or maybe you will. Maybe you will fall in love with the world and never choose to leave the traveling spirit ever again. Maybe you will dance in crowds and walk through a different street every day and maybe you won’t say Peace Corps ruined you but woke you up.

Peace Corps woke me up to the world and I am not giving up on it anytime soon. I am in love with this world and I will search for it and connect with it as much as I can possibly do.

Even if it means I will be broke.

Okay, no. That’s why the nine to five happens. So I won’t be broke doing this. But I will always be a traveler and learner of culture and I am not gonna settle for less like a 3 day weekend to Cabo. I dream big. Give me a road, great people, and good food and I will see you in thirty days!


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