Well, I graduated. Apparently that means I am a member of the fabled “real world,” despite the fact that college never taught me how to not call my Mom when making a meal more complex than Mac ‘n Cheese or what the hell determines a credit score. If you are unaware of what the next year of my life will hold, I’m happy to know I’m not alone. I’ll attempt to elaborate on what I do know…  

For the next year I will be serving as a Chapter Advisor in Estelí, Nicaragua for the organization Global Brigades. Global Brigades is the largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization in the world, working in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana. I became acquainted with the organization through its chapter on my college campus. In January of this year I traveled with my fellow SLU brigaders to Honduras in order to promote a GB-sponsored microfinance program and improve financial literacy in a rural community. When the opportunity to continue involvement with GB presented itself, I could not pass it by. 

Fourteen other recent college graduates and I will serve as Chapter Advisors, working with the various chapters of Global Brigades on college campuses throughout the United States. We will also be living together. Who knew the “real world” would be so much like The Real World? 

The Nicaraguan adventure begins in two weeks and is undoubtedly daunting. Previous long-term travel experiences have taught me that although it can become easier to go, it never becomes easier to leave. I was thinking about that this morning when I came across the following quote: “There is no comfort in the growth zone, but there is no growth in the comfort zone.” I can dig it. 

Two weeks. 

A mere fortnight separates myself from Nicaragua.

Cue the Grizzly Bear.