My 2011-2012 BHAGs: Curacao, Bonaire, NOLA, Egypt, Cambodia, AUS!?

BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Thanks for the inspiration, BootsnAll! You have just made me realize what’s my real last name ;)

Alo! I’m super excited to share some great news on this lovely Travel Tuesday night with ya! :D As you already know, I’ll be visiting Curacao for the first time in November. However, what you didn’t know yet is that I’ve added Bonaire to the mix! After speaking to other travel bloggers that have been to the ABC’s (Aruba/Bonaire/Curacao), I was told that it is wise if I were to spend 2-3 days on each instead of the whole time in just one of them. And since I’m trying to visit all countries in the world…this would be a perfect opportunity to cross off two at once :D after some debate, I decided to stay longer in Bonaire (3 days), as I wanted to visit the least crowded island with the most unspoiled nature for better diving/snorkeling. Then, I will fly back to Curacao and stay for 2 days to soak in the night life and possibly cycle around instead of renting a car *fingers crossed* I’m excited to have a taste of the Dutch Caribbean! Oh and in case you were wondering why I have left Aruba out? I already visited back in 2002 ;)

Aruba Natural Bridge

Aruba's Natural Bridge, which collapsed in 2005 - I went there just 3 yrs earlier!

Now, how the HECK were NOLA, Egypt, Cambodia, Thailand, and even AUSTRALIA thrown to the mix!? Let me begin by saying that they are not all on a one-way RTW ticket (although that would have been pretty epic)…

French Quarter, New Orleans

French Quarter, New Orleans at night (Photo: Falkue at de.wikipedia)

NOLA, aka New Orleans, aka the “Big Easy” was an impulse buy from yours truly during a ridiculously-beautiful AA sale – snatched a RT ticket, direct flights, TPA-NOLA for just US$160 including taxes (I know, I’m a baller). I’m excited because the first and only time I’ve been to NOLA was to volunteer and help victims affected by Hurricane Katrina. Meaning? That time I got to be a part of something big for people, now this time I will be part of celebrating their recovery, BIG, with them! ;) shall be a blast! This is happening on a long weekend in December, by the way.

And now, I shall describe the biggest event of this post. Band, drum roll please! *drum roll*

Hint: Plans A & C

Hint: This shall involve Plans A & C

Hint: Plan B

Hint: This shall be Plan B

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for 2012 is to work, live, travel throughout the Middle East again or hit SE Asia for the first time in my life!

*rings cowbell loudly* YES!!!!!!!!!!!

Omg, you have no idea how excited I am, my fingertips just keep doing a happy dance across the keyboard every time I type about that! Soooo! What’s the plan you must be wondering!? Since I basically have it all planned out from Plan A to C to D, I’ll tell you all about it on a tentative timeline I’ve outlined below!

 Nov – Dec 2011 * Curacao & Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean); Miami & Tampa FL (USA)

Dec 2011 * New Orleans, NOLA, the Big Easy

New Year’s 2012 * long weekend where? Hmm…Tampa? Canada? Miami? Times Square/NYC again?

Jan – April 2012…

Plan A: Apply for jobs at US Embassies around the world, preferably in the Middle East, most preferably in Egypt. I want to improve my Arabic, get ready for a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Arabic, Track II at U of Maryland (close to DC!), studying abroad in Egypt again for the 2nd year of my degree (!!!)

Plan B? If by Feb-March I got no promising job offers on my table, start looking for jobs in Australia as well! I got a contact (if you wish to be named, you’re welcome to move forward mister!) that will help me find a job in the tourism industry there. Tour guide? Interpreter? Both? We shall see! :D

Plan C: Really I got one? Indeed :D apply to become a flight attendant for a Middle Eastern airline, preferably Emirates or Qatar Airways. Travel the world while having a base in the Middle East and improve my Arabic in the process? Why not!?

Plan D (aka worst case scenario): Stay in Tampa FL a bit longer, until any plan from above happens. because you know, Maria Alexandra makes things happen!

La Isla del Encanto, Puerto Rico

A beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico

April – Aug 2012 * If either plan A, B or C from above happens, I’ll move back to La Isla Del Encanto, Puerto Rico (HOME!) and live with my family for a few months. It’ll be wonderful, because my first nephew is coming to this world in Feb 2012, so he will get some serious fun time with Titi Maria before she jets off to live in another remote country! (I wish he was old enough to teach him how to Skype already…)

Worst case scenario: Still in Tampa FL, job searching (aka still working on Plans A, B & C from above)

Aug 2012

Plan A: Living (and working) in Egypt again!

Plan B: Last week of Aug, head to Southeast Asia, travel through Thailand (for the first time!) for a couple of days, then head to Cambodia to volunteer on a house build through Habitat for Humanity. Afterward, tubing (and much else) in Laos. And “finally”? Travel job in eastern coast of AUSTRALIA!

Plan C: Become a reincarnated PanAm dream (umm, flight attendant) for Emirates or Qatar Airways, living in the Persian Gulf, but FLYING often around the world!

Sept 2012 * living and traveling either throughout the Middle East, Asia and/or the South Pacific!

And…what if all of the above fails due to some major mystery of the universe? Well, I’ll just stay right here, in Tampa FL, working as a translator and social media manager, still searching and waiting until a promising opportunity crosses my path. I know God has a plan for me, and while I do possess the gift of free will, He also helps me by guiding me in the path that best suits my abilities and all the love and talents I have to give and share with others. I’m such a people person, got so much love and great plans to share and spread around the world, I know what will make me wake up ecstatic every morning will show up eventually :)

Until then? I got my timeline to work on! And…

My pool in Tampa, FL
…a great view + pool at my apartment complex to enjoy in Tampa Bay, FL

This post may have been a little tedious for some of you to read, but I am the kind of person that needs to write (errm, type) plans out in order to focus, tackle, and WIN. I’m absent, scattered minded, so time lines like this one have previously helped me achieve some of my biggest life goals. And so this shall be my proclamation, my inspiration–the sticky note I will read every day until my wildest dreams come true!

MOREOVER, I am challenging YOU right now to proclaim your own. Write down your dreams, travel plans, BIG GOALS for the next year already! Come join me, let’s take this journey together!

In response to 30 Days of Indie Travel, Prompt # 1:
What travel goals do you hope to accomplish this year?

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14 thoughts on “My 2011-2012 BHAGs: Curacao, Bonaire, NOLA, Egypt, Cambodia, AUS!?

  1. wow! BIG plans! love them all! love how you’re sneaking in some tubing time. SOOO much fun!

    My BIG plans for 2011 are to travel slowly through Latin America. I’ll be starting in Mexico next week and`making my way south as far as our money will last for as long as we can go :-)

  2. I’ll mention it on Twitter as well, but when you are “in the neighborhood,” would be great if you could stop by in Israel. Would love to see you here and happy to help in any way I can!

  3. Mija, this sounds awesome! I am going to be in Australia starting in June for 1 year on a working visa. Would love to meet up with you if you get there! Your plans sound amazing.

  4. Wow! So many backup plans. I usually make a plan A, and a plan B. I’ve only ever had to use plan B once or twice. There’s nothing wrong with making a plan on-the-fly.

    But Kudos for thinking so far ahead; and great #indie30 post.

    • haha, true! My Plan A usually works out, but this time my plans are quite ambitious + hard times to find jobs, so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of options far ahead. Employment is a little bit trickier than just traveling or other types of goals ;) but I agree with u mostly! :) thanks btw, very happy to hear this is a fitting #indie30 post!

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