Change Yourself…Change The World.


I Love You Summer
May 24, 2011, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Today is the day that my dream comes true, and I start my adventure with the US Peace Corps.

But today isn’t about that. Today is about my dog, Summer. Summer passed away this morning. She was 11 years old.

Summer was truly the most amazing dog anyone could ask for. She loved everyone she met and was the kindest soul that I knew. She was the favorite of everyone- my friends, who would pleat her chest hair and make up silly songs- the mail man, who always had a dog treat whenever he passed through- our vet, our babysitters- and she always slept in my room at night, through high school to when I would come home for college, until her final days.

For my final night at home, I cajoled Summer upstairs one last time to sleep in my room with me before I left for the Peace Corps. I think she was trying to give me a message, because her breathing was heavy and laboured, and I woke up my parents. Summer passed away at 3 AM, surrounded by people who loved her dearly.

While it was so difficult for me in many ways, I’m also so thankful that she passed quickly and didn’t suffer, and that I got to be there with her. I have always felt that I had such a special connection with my Summer. It felt right being there with her. I think that everything happens for a reason. I will be taking all of those special memories of Summer along with me to Paraguay.

I love you Summer. If there’s a doggie heaven, you are in it. Rest in peace my angel.



Secure 10 Votes for my friends and get a gift from Paraguay!
April 13, 2011, 1:24 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Hi readers!

I’m here again to talk about my two wonderful friends, Rachel and Jeff. They are getting married this August and need help ¬†with their wedding, so they signed up for an online contest. We have been trying really hard to get them votes, and I mean really hard. So far they have about 375 votes, and they’ll need around 500 more to get into the top voting pile to be considered.

So I’m asking you for help, and attaching a gift! If you get TEN of your friends to vote for Rachel and Jeff’s dream wedding, I will get you a really awesome gift from Paraguay. Since I’ve been to Paraguay before, I know that there are a lot of really great gifts there. There are tons of handmade indigenous crafts, artifacts, and and souvenirs!

SO, get 10 of your friends to Vote– email them, facebook/gchat/skype chat them- and then email me or post a comment on here, and I will get you a seriously amazing gift from Paraguay!!!


Just look at the love between these two. Please help support unending love and help Rachel and Jeff get the wedding of their dreams!

Much love,
Brittany



Vote for Jeff and Rachel
March 22, 2011, 10:44 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Dear friends,

Ignore the fact that I haven’t updated on here for over a month, and that I’m asking you to do something that might seem random for this blog. But here it is, anyway: two wonderful friends of mine, Jeff and Rachel, met on Global College’s CRC Program, the nine-month program I also attended that took me through some of the most amazing experiences of my life.

When you live with nine people on top of each other for nine months, you really get to know each other. And what I’ve come to know of Rachel and Jeff is that they are both some of the most amazing people in this world. Full of love for each other and love for other people, Jeff and Rachel were together for the entire CRC trip. They are now getting married this August, and they deserve to have the most gorgeous and beautiful wedding.

So I’m asking YOU, my dear readers, for a favor. Please help spread the love and VOTE for them to win $100,000 for their dream wedding. It only takes a second out of your life, but it will change theirs.

Rachel and Jeff

Thanks friends. More updates soon!

Much love,

Brittany



Year Three.
February 17, 2011, 2:08 am
Filed under: India, Plain Mary Jane

Dear friends,

Yesterday marked the third anniversary of my stepping out into the world, and stepping into myself. On February 15th, 2008, I stepped out of the United States, out of my comfort zone, out of anything I had ever experienced before, and I stepped into India. I stepped into a sea of staring faces at the Delhi airport, hundreds of Indian eyes boring into my own at arrival. I stepped into the lives of nine other perfect strangers, who would soon come to know me fully and change my life in ways I would’ve never imagined. I stepped into stray dogs, rambling cows, rickshaws, betel nut stains, dingy buses, half-finished hotel rooms. I found myself through the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing work at a center for the destitute and dying in Calcutta; through a little mountain village in Palampur, teaching English to children and the Macarena dance to their mothers; through a sixteen mile walk to a 10,000 year old tree in Bodhgaya; from sitting in RamNagar Fort over-looking over the Ganges River in Varanasi, feeling the breeze ripple through my hair; through an amazing family in Dharamsala who would force me to make a choice that completely redefined my life. India changed me forever.

Three years and nearly thirty countries later, I still can’t believe where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I now marvel at how easy it is to connect with anyone I come across, whether it’s in a little falafel shop with a Sukran to the Egyptian chef, or singing Bollywood music to an Indian woman draped in a sari in passing, or greeting a Tibetan monk in Tibetan at a Whole Foods Market. Seeing that twinkle in their eyes, that smile that passes between us, makes everything in my life sweeter. Being able to travel all around the world and help others reach their fullest potential makes my life worth living. I feel so contently full from all of the love in the world. I feel so incredibly grateful and honored for my next step in life to be a Peace Corps Volunteer and to continue this winding journey. To be able to smile within myself and know that I am still yet only at the beginning of such a fulfilling life- that there will be a Year Four, a Year Five, a Year Ten- all because of that spark from three years ago- well, I have to say that I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I would really like to take the time and space here to honor how amazing this all is.

As I come into Year Three, I hope that life will continue to bring me more insight, patience, flexibility, humility, and love for others. I hope that I will continue to learn and grow, that I will keep on branching out, connecting, inspiring, and be inspired. That is all that I can really ask for.

Thanks for reading and following my journey, friends. Here we go, Year Three!
Much love,
Brittany



BrittanygoesTumblr
February 11, 2011, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Hi guys,

So I’ve kept this hidden for a spell, because I wasn’t sure whether having yet another website would be something permanent or temporary- but as time goes on I am recognizing more and more its permanence. So I’m officially announcing that I have a Tumblr.

Why, you ask? Well, there are a lot of things that I come across on the web or at home that I feel is just worth sharing. Or more selfishly, remembering- there are a lot of great ideas I find, and the coolest of them I want to take note of. Think of it as ‘la creme de la creme’ of the ideas I interact with every day.

It doesn’t make much sense to put them up on this blog, however, and so I decided to try my hand at Tumblr and see how it feels. Two months into this little project, I’d say it feels pretty good.

This isn’t meant to overwhelm anyone in any way (‘now I have to check two websites?’). Tumblr is just a little additive to the main website, but it’s something fun and I thought it would be worth sharing. So if you’re interested, check it out.

Much love,
Brittany



Inspiration
January 27, 2011, 2:32 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

I’m currently reading an amazing book called How to Change the World by David Bornstein, and I came across a quote that I thought was worth sharing.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
Martin Luther King Jr.



Starting Off 2011 Right
January 20, 2011, 12:33 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Hello lovely friends,

I just wanted to drop a quick note here and let everyone know how extremely happy I am. Sometimes I just need to take a step back from my life, look around, and think about all of the incredible experiences I have had at such a young age: the places I have been, the people that I’ve met, the things I have seen. I feel so wonderfully blessed with everything I have in my life. I am overwhelmed with love and happiness right now, and I hope that you are all having as great of a start to 2011 as I am.

Thanks for reading and following my journey.

Much love,
Brittany



The Best Day Ever
December 9, 2010, 1:24 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane, USA

Dear friends,

Some days are just so perfect that you have to write about them. I know that I haven’t been doing the best job keeping up on this blog; every time I come home I just get so caught up in life that all of my good intentions to write on here are usually thwarted. But today was such a great day that I felt the urge to write about it. So here I write.

I am currently in New York- I came up here for a few days with my parents. My Dad had business meetings and invited me to come, and I jumped at the opportunity to relive the life here a little bit and see a lot of friends. Being back in New York has been amazing. And today is just a small snippet of what I’ve done, but I decided to share just today.

I slept soundly for the first time in a few weeks (it takes awhile to REALLY get over the jet lag) and woke up feeling generally refreshed at about 10 AM. I ate a huge brunch in the hotel we’re staying at, and then jumped into a cab to go visit Acumen Fund, one of my most favorite organizations in the world. Having worked there for a few months, I was really excited to catch up with some of the employees and hear how they’re doing, and it was really fantastic to see everyone again. Once you’re part of the community, being at Acumen Fund is a little bit like being with family, and it was truly wonderful to head back into their office like the good old days. I’m really hoping that in the long future, I get an MBA at NYU, and I’m not going to say that Acumen Fund being in the general vicinity doesn’t influence this desire just a little bit.

After leaving Acumen Fund with five gifts of “The Blue Sweater” books under my arm (speaking of which, any of you world changers hankering to learn more about Acumen Fund? “The Blue Sweater” is the reason why I fell in love with the organization in the first place!), I headed across the street and walked through the Chelsea Market, one of my favorite places in the city, and then went to B&H Photography, the best multimedia store in the universe. I needed to get my UV filter replaced on my camera, and it was more than a little intoxicating walking through the store and eyeing all of the lenses and SLRs on display. A sweet Jewish SLR expert gave me a new UV filter and suggested a photography repair shop across the street to repair my new one. When I arrived at the repair shop, a warm and friendly woman in a Christmas sweater repaired my camera for free, while telling me about how life is about being nice to strangers.

On an elated high, I then made my way to the Rubin Museum, my favorite museum in New York that features Tibetan paintings and sculptures. After a plate of Tibetan momos, sweet chai, and a perusal through the New York Times, I wandered into the gift shop for a few select Christmas presents, where I struck up a conversation with a Tibetan lady (yes, in Tibetan). She was extremely pleased I had spent so much time in Dharamsala, and gave me a beautiful Tibetan mug.

Back at the hotel, I met up with my parents for tea, and then took off to the Lower East side for a drink with a friend and fellow Acumen Fund lover, Adam. I regaled him with my stories as a Kiva fellow, and he told me about his amazing venture Tagai, a mentorship program for recently immigrated high school students. Afterwards, I walked over to the Catchafire office to meet two of my good friends Emily and Sam. I knew Sam when I was in Thailand from the CRC program, and to be able to see him in New York and hang out with his awesome girlfriend Emily was really significant for me, since I barely get to see my friends I’ve met abroad. We went out to a Peruvian restaurant and chilled over a pitcher of Sangria and a long feast of chicken and seafood.

Finally, I ended the night in Brooklyn, celebrating Sarah’s 22nd birthday, my friend who lived in the same dorm as me when I was in New York. Being back there and on such a momentous occasion was really the icing on the cake to such a wonderful day. I took a cab back to Manhattan and ended up chatting with the cab driver the entire way back, who’s Ghanaian. I sang him a few Ghanaian songs I knew, and he told me all about how he came to the US.

You may think that this post doesn’t have a lot of rhyme or reason being on a website about my travels, but it really does. I am shaped by what I have seen and experienced, and it follows me wherever I go; whether by seeing great friends I’ve met while traveling, by being able to break cultural barriers with lovely strangers, and by the way I see myself react and respond to people today. One thing I’ve really learned through traveling is that if you put your love and happiness out there in the universe, happiness and love will come back to you in droves.

Everything about this day was incredibly lovely and lucky, and it also makes me feel happy because this exact day last year I found out some really devastating news that made this last year hard for me in a lot of ways. I feel that this beautiful day was healing in a way, and a premonition for the next year to come: full of love, friendship, and more travels and adventures.

I love my life, my friends, my family, my travels. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Much love,

Brittany



Welcome Katie’s Class!
November 7, 2010, 8:44 am
Filed under: Plain Mary Jane

Welcome Katie’s Class! My sister Kate told me that you were visiting my website, so I thought I would say hello!

Special welcomes to Mrs. Tabor’s class!

Harrison Berger
Katie Boroian
Dominic Carrera
Austin Dear
Spencer Gieserman
Hayden Gibson
Philip Ignatoff
Luke Kessinger
Natalie Klar
John Mirsky
Athena Myers
Clara Ngyen
Derek Pheffer
Alec Pichinich
Camila Piza
Sofia Restrepo
Rosie Rotheschild
Ava Shumeli
Alexa Silfen
Alessia Spelman
Max Tabin
Lily Volper
Haley Mordis

Katie is my little sister, and she’s the coolest. We have a lot of fun together. I’m jealous that you all get to see her every day at school, while I’m traveling all over the world. I wish she could come with me!

Katie and I in 2009

I’ve been able to travel to lots of great places all over the world. If you want to see all of the places I’ve traveled to, you can click on THIS MAP!

If you want to look at pictures of every country I’ve traveled to, you can also go to PICTURES.

If you’re wondering how I was able to travel to go to so many places, you can go to the page WHY I TRAVEL SO MUCH.

I hope that you enjoy looking through my website, and that you all have the chance to travel like I do! The world is a huge and amazing place, and there is so much to see and do. I am one of the happiest people in the world because I get to travel and see so many wonderful things. But mostly, I am one of the happiest people in the world because Katie is my little sister!

Enjoy and Welcome!

Brittany