Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ketchup paper balls

Life is full of surprises. Things change on a daily and practically hourly basis, and I'm getting to the point where those changes don't throw me as much as they used to. I thought my Hall Director days were the true essence of random events happening at all hours of the day, but I'm learning that that job was just a mini-training for this experience.

The only thing that hasn't really changed is my love of this city and this experience in general. Sure, there are absolutely ups and downs in all parts of my life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, because I am doing what I have wanted to do for a while. I feel very lucky for that. But I realized something the other day - our lives are what we create. A wise friend said to me in response to my comment that I felt so lucky to have this opportunity that, "It's not luck. You've created this opportunity for yourself and you should be proud of that." I remember that conversation vividly, as it was a turning point for me and my confidence in myself to do this.

In balance with being intentional and creating opportunities, I'm finding that going with the flow and just seeing what comes about is also incredibly important. For example, my friend Katrina and I got together to make plans for our upcoming holiday over Christmas and New Years. We had been talking a lot about options of where to go, and decided to write down the names of countries we wanted to go to on slips of paper, hang them on a wall, and each toss a paper ball covered in ketchup at the wall - while blindfolded - in order to see where we'd go. As we were laughing hysterically, we tossed our ketchup balls and they landed upon Bulgaria. So, it was decided!

As we started planning, we decided to work our way south from Prague towards Bulgaria. We thought it'd be fun to go to Budapest, Hungary first. Though I was just there, Katrina hasn't been there yet, and I loved it so, I'm happy to go back! After that, we thought we'd go to Belgrade, Serbia and then on to Sofia, Bulgaria. We wanted to end up at the Black Sea and then fly home. This is where we hit a snag. Flights from Bulgaria back to Prague (or really anywhere near us) were ridiculously expensive!

So, we went back to the drawing board. By this point, we were making pasta for a late dinner, and decided we’d re-try our random toss activity by again posting the countries on the wall and tossing pasta at them. This actually worked much better, as the pasta stuck instead of making a huge mess. Just at tip, in case you want to try this at home. ;)

The spaghetti didn’t really help us decide, so we started looking at other options. Needless to say, we went to bed a little frustrated because things were looking too expensive. We woke up both realizing that just because we weren’t going to Bulgaria didn’t mean we didn’t have to totally change our already made plans. So, we decided on this itinerary: Prague to Bratislava, Slovakia to Budapest, Hungary to Belgrade, Serbia to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovena to Zegrab, Croatia and back home. This nice circle is accessible by trains and buses, so it’ll be easier and cheaper to get around. We spent the next few hours looking at options and it looks like it’s all going to work just fine. We still have a few of the train/bus trips to sort out, but mostly it’s done.

In true go with the flow spirit – we have set tentative dates we’ll be in all the cities and have figured out how to get from each city to the next. We’re going to find places to stay and then just go and adjust as we need to along the way. I’m crazy excited!

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