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Leaping into 2014


“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there”. – Yogi Berra

The last time I felt like this was my first day of college.  Driving up to campus, taking in the gothic architecture, feeling the weight and inspiration of great minds that had come before, I felt like the future held unlimited possibilities – possibilities that I didn’t even know existed.  I felt like anything could happen.  Today, with much less structure and no path paved for me, I feel the same sense of exhilaration that anything could happen.

Yesterday, I left my job of three years as an associate at a large DC law firm to move half-way across the world to Germany for a one-year sabbatical.  This grown-up gap year feels like the first time I’ve looked up from what I thought was “the path” and chosen the detour.  Although it doesn’t feel like a detour.  It feels exciting.  It feels like leaning in, although maybe not in the way that Sheryl Sandberg meant it.  It feels like I am doing something that could change my life.

I haven’t had this lack of plans, lack of to-do list, lack of daily meetings for quite a long time.  What do I do now?  Do I change my identity?  Buy a Vespa and and some hipster moto pants?  Do I get bangs?  The last time I “got bangs”, I didn’t actually wait to “get” them, I made them myself with a pair of child safety scissors.  To this day, my first grade school photo continues to bring shame upon my family (even without the laser background).  Maybe no bangs.

For now, it’s off to the land of breaded meats, hops and barley.  I have my computer, my camera, far too many pairs of shoes, a few extra butterflies, and an appetite for exploration.  I feel like anything could happen.

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I'm an American living in Mainz, Germany and, after a a one-year sabbatical from office life, working as a corporate lawyer in Frankfurt. While living in Europe with my fiancé, my goals are to see as much art, taste as much food, and experience as much life as possible.

3 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Have a sublime gap year: you’ve certainly relocated to a superb part of the world with many other superb places all within relatively easy reach, not least because of Europe’s enviable rail network! I’ve really enjoyed catching up with your blog and will be back!
    Glad you like “In search of unusual destinations” (some of which are not too far from where you’re located), and that the post about Tulsa appealed. Tulsa is an eccentric place: I would definitely go back. This said, if you want somewhere where just about every dot on the map is eccentric, try Romania! Romania’s also unbelievably beautiful, especially among the hills and the villages.
    That was some new year bash you had! Wow! Mine was a much more modest pub crawl in Darlington, UK, with tasty eats back home with the family! But the new year’s day goose was ace. Flaunt it while you can! Phil.


    • Thank you, Phil! I will add Romania to my list of places I want to see. It sounds like you had a great New Year’s Eve and Day! A nice goose is hard to make/find, but so delicious! Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to new posts on yours! Best, Colleen


  2. Pingback: The Challenge to Explore: “Take 12 Trips” | Leap

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