Our First Post: Namita and Joe's Ridiculous Advent

Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
1
Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Friday, June 6, 2008

Dear Readers, Family, and Friends,


This is the first of hopefully many posts that will hopefully help other
graduates through their way around the world.  After successfully
completing our senior years at Princeton University, Joe Rokicki and I,
Namita Bisaria, plan to set off "adventuring" this next year around the
world!  It all sounds very grand, but as we are in the planning period
of our adventures we are running into a few ruts here in there in terms
of logistics and money.  

To begin, it is important that we lay out the premise and history of our
travel.  Joe and I met in our integrated science coursework together,
he is an electrical engineer and I am a molecular biologist.  We are
both going to graduate school following our "gap year" and he is
studying synthetic biology and I am doing "systems" biology ( which I
don't even know what exactly that entails).  We have been backpacking,
naively so, to the Yucatan region of Mexico and the Southern part of
Peru.  Both of these incredible trips showed us that we work well
together as traveling companions and have a miraculous "magic" about
our journeys such that everything always works out no matter what
ridiculous thing we attempt.  It might be that we are incredibly
optimistic such that the most dismal of situations can have a hidden
upside that we find (like the freezing night I spent on a beach in a
blanket but got to see the sunrise).  Who knows.  

It
is important to note for various reasons that Joe and I are NOT
romantically involved and will never be for the remainder of our
traveling relationship.  This is an important factor to our dynamic and
moreover for our family and significant others.  

Our
motivation to travel is as most backpacker's motivation: to see the
world and learn the local language, colors, customs, and cultures of
the places we visit.  We want to travel light and live off of our
ability to talk to people and make connections.  Rather than jump from
hostel to hostel, we want to stay in a place and learn and contribute
to the landscape there, whether it be working on an organic farm,
joining an local arts, health, or education organization, or playing
and organizing soccer.  There are a couple of organizations we have
been in contact with or researched for our trip: World
Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming (WWOOF), World of Good Fair Wage
Fellowship, Grassroots Soccer in Africa, and
Sarala micro-financing institution in West Bengal/Calcutta regions.  We
are also going to visit some of our much cooler and more organized
friends who have received fellowships to do humanitarian projects
abroad, such as our friend Katy Digovich who won the Compton Fellowship
to setup an AIDS adherence program through text-messaging in Botswana,
and Emmie (I don't know her last name Joe), who received a Fulbright to
teach English at a school in Indonesia.  If anyone who reads this has
other organizations that need volunteers and moreover will GIVE MONEY
for us to travel please post!  

Our current status is as follows:  We need funds to travel.  We estimate
right now that it will take over 9,000 dollars to travel for a year
comfortably.  Who wants to travel comfortably?  We will need ~ 4,000
dollars to pay for the RTW airfare alone (see Star Alliance RTW trip
fares).  We have some idea of where we want to go but it isn't
definite.  A potenial trajectory goes: US-->Brazil-->
Argentina-->Italy?-->South
Africa-->Botswana-->Mauritas-->India-->Signapore (with
other parts of SE Asia)-->Indonesia-->Japan-->New
Zealand-->US.  Those are at least the places that we have talked
about going.  Who knows at this point, it really all depend on getting
contacts and money.

Finally,
we will be updating a traveling "Manifesto," contributed to by Joe and
I, in order to keep our relationship and motivation during travels
safe.   

Thank you for reading!
Namita Bisaria & Joe Rokicki
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