2012 will be my year. I plan on traveling to two specific locations next year and can not wait to do so.
Desert Elephant - Africa
Who doesn't want a hand in saving elephants. I don't mean just sending money, but getting down and dirty building walls to protect the elephants and gather information to help their preservation. Two weeks in Africa sweatting it out and helping a worthy cause.
WWOOF - France
WWOOFing. I have been wanting to do this for years. Really. I smile at the thought of building relationships with people who are nothing like me. It is basically a labor exchange. You go and stay with a family, on their property, eat what they eat, and work with/for them. This is an excellent and very cheap way to travel to new places and emberse yourself in the culture. There are many things you miss out on when you go to a countries tourist attractions. There is more to a country than a national monument. I actually want to find a family I can become part of and go back to every year. Crazy? No. Who wouldn't want family in France to go visit every year? I will be going for two weeks, maybe three if work permits. I plan on taking hundreds of pictures and meeting as many people as possible. Life is about living, and I consider living - making an impact on people. I will be grabbing menus and napkins and coasters and everything I can possibly get a hold of to help me remember (and scrapbook) my trip. It will be life changing and I am ready for it.
My sudden need for travel is based on the fact that I am 22 and haven't been out of the country since I was 14. I REFUSE to be 30 and look back on the last 10 years of my life and not be proud or happy about anything. I want to have stories to share with my children and their children and hopefully their children's children. So many people live their lives without living and I do not want to be one of them. I have the means to have a great life and plan on taking advantage of it.