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A girl from Texas

This is the most exciting thing I've ever done.

And I've done some pretty exciting things over the course of my life.

Today, I submitted a huge chunk of change as a down payment to participate in Remote Year Meraki in 2017. I will be in one new city for each month of the year. I'll be in Latin America for the first half of the year, Europe in the fall, and Asia for the winter. Here's the itinerary:

January – Mexico City, Mexico

February – Bogotá, Colombia

March – Medellín, Colombia

April – Lima, Peru

May – Córdoba, Argentina

June – Buenos Aires, Argentina

July – Prague, Czech Republic

August – Belgrade, Serbia

September – Valencia, Spain

October – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

November – Chiang Mai, Thailand

December – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Some friends have discouraged me from attending, saying I could travel more cheaply on my own. But I choose to travel to 12 cities for a year not on my own, but with 80 other fascinating individuals instead.

In January, we'll all be heading to Mexico City, and I could not be more ready for this trip. Out of the 12 destinations, I've been to Medellín and Bogotá before, but they were both incredibly beautiful so I'm excited to explore them more deeply. I am a single woman with no pets and no partner, and I will have just finished up an almost decade-long career commitment to President Obama.

It is time for me to take the trip of a lifetime!

After I graduated college, I was feeling unfulfilled in my first job because I was doing advertising for alcohol companies and didn't feel like I was making the world a better place. I applied for a fellowship with the Human Rights Campaign, which led me to Cincinnati, Ohio for my first foray into politics. While my candidate lost his race in 2006, he ended up becoming mayor in 2013. After meeting incredible people who were equally passionate about equal rights for all, I was hooked on campaign life!

I moved from Fort Worth to Las Vegas to start on the Obama campaign in July 2007, eventually working in Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, Montana, Colorado, and Illinois for Obama for America. The day after the election, I flew to DC to do human resources on the transition, worked at the White House in personnel for almost two years, and then transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency, where I've been ever since. I moved out to Chicago to work at the EPA Great Lakes office in 2011, and I've been here longer than anywhere else I've lived since growing up in Texas. I will miss this city, the Obama family that came back here, and all the new friends I've made over the last five years.

Along the way, I've picked up hobbies such as archaeology, yoga, vegan cooking, and studying religion from a psychological perspective. I like to dye my hair silver, and I fancy myself a double apostate.

Wish me luck and curiosity and awareness on this adventure.

#RemoteYear #Wanderlust #Gapyear #Yearabroad #Meraki #Vegan

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