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And So The Adventure Begins...

Well hello there, it's nice of you to stop in. Prop your feet up, stay a while. I have a feeling we're gonna be great friends. 

In the spirit of new friendship and the beginning of a great adventure, I think maybe I should introduce myself properly. 

I'm Taylor, a serial coffee drinker and avid kid lover from East Tennessee, where mountains are abundant and teeth and proper grammer are not-so-abundant. I wouldn't have wanted to grow up anywhere else though. It has a simplistic beauty about it, if you haven't visited I highly recommend it. 

If you're wondering what I'm like as a person, I'll begin by telling you what friends have said. My best friend said my spirit animal is Squirt from Finding Nemo, and another said I have an old soul. My best friends know me as incredibly goofy. I love to run, but I'm TERRIBLE at any sport that involves a ball. Like, truly bad. I like to laugh. A lot. I love Saturday Night Live and Marvel movies. I'm a dog person, but I think that's partially because I'm allergic to cats. I LOVE kids. I get kids. I think this is because I am a kid on the inside. How that lives inside me alongside my old soul, I will never understand. I am part senior citizen, part middle schooler on the inside. I have made peace with this. I love music. I always have. I'm in the process of learning guitar, mostly because I sing all the time. It's kind of awkward to be accapella 100% of the time, so I thought I'd at least give my listeners some variety (sorry roomies, fam, and showerhead). I don't really like small talk--I don't know if it's because I'm slightly awkward and dopey or because I don't have much patience for it. I like to think it's the latter, but realistically it's a mixture of both. On Pottermore it says I'm a Hufflepuff with a Unicorn patronus. Hopefully that'll make sense to some of you.

Schoolwise, I am going into my senior year-- crazy right? It doesn't feel real--at The University of Tennessee majoring in Microbiology. Basically, I know a lot about viruses and bacteria-- I prefer to refer to them as "little critters", though. They sound a lot less intimidating if you think of them as cute little animals, despite the fact that they have the ability to kill you without proper medical attention. As of now, I'm applying for medical school in the fall, which brings us to the upcoming great adventure.

In just FIVE DAYS, I'll be on my way to Cape Town, South Africa to learn about medical care there and participating in field work at a hospital. Stoked wouldn't even begin to capture how I feel-- this has been my dream since elementary school, right after I got over the whole "I-want-to-be-an-astronaut" phase. It's insane, it's big, and I have a feeling it'll be life-changing. I feel like Selena Gomez in Monte Carlo or Reese in Wild--I feel exhilerated and slightly nauseous at the same time. 

I want so much to come from this trip, but mainly I just want to be put out of my comfort zone. I know that's a weird goal to have, but I feel like the times I've grown the most in my life has been when I felt the most uncomfortable. You learn so much by taking a big leap, even if your eyes are closed tightly and your fists clenched. I've always been one of Adventure's biggest advocates, I'm excited to spend a whole month and a half with her. I don't know anyone going on the trip, and I'm travelling alone. I've never been out of the country. I'm notoriously bad at directions-- I get lost ridiculously easily. I choose to look at these things not as sources of anxiety BUT as sources of infinite possibility. This is what dreams are made of, this is the time to be fearlessly in pursuit of growth and laughter and stories. 

So, here are my goals for this trip in a more tangible way. If you're going abroad too--or even just staying home, maybe you can make your own list. (Some of these are specific to Cape Town)

  • Make some forever friends and chase after them.
  • Be stringent with your "no's". Only save them for very specific instances. (Translated: say yes, a lot.)
  • Try ethnic food
  • go to Boulder's Beach (it has penguins on it! like what?! count me in.)
  • Go to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • See an elephant while on safari
  • Choose adventure over sleep (very important, I am secretly 80 years old inside)

Guys, say yes to adventures this summer whether you're a million miles away from home or right in your backyard. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It's time to be fearless! Let's DO this thing.