from 2011-12, i spent a year in oakhurst, a gateway community to yosemite national park, and actually lived 14 miles from the park entrance. the background here is.. i made the supremely reckless (read: daring, adventurous, fulfilling!) decision to pick up my comfortable life in orlando and make the nearly 3000-mile trek to california to serve for a year in the national community service program, americorps. in january 2012 i ended my term serving for an environmental development council, administering a $20K grant in an area i never studied, but was riveted by, every day.
im the most seasoned traveler my family and friends have ever met, though so many people i meet always seem to put me to shame. this winter i drove home for the holidays, ca to fl, 6000 miles traveling solo across country in less than a month: 11 states, 5 national parks, and a fuckload of snow and trail mix. there is nothing more thrilling or rejuvenating to me than setting out on the open road. people often tell me im brave to go it alone. i think id be a fool to sacrifice that moment just because i dont have a partner.
im a graduate student in public administration and public policy at cal state long beach and i also work as a graduate assistant to the programs department -- i get to bring all the cool, fun stuff to campus for the kids. i affectionately call them "my kids" even though theyre only like 8 years younger than i am and they swear i look younger (humble brag, and im quite aware i approve their payroll!) so yeh, ive got an office on campus which means i pretty much live at 1212 bellflower blvd.
i realized just yesterday that i had the great fortune of visiting 5 national parks in 2013: arches, zion, hawaii volcanoes, petrified forest and hot springs. in 2014, im shooting for saguaro (check!), carlsbad caverns (check!), redwoods (ca), crater laker (or), channel islands (ca), grand tetons & yellowstone (wy).