I was happily laughing at those blokes that started blogs but never kept them up. Several years I trucked on with my own regular posts. But then life happened and SunshineShannon joined the others in the Land of Forgotten Blogs. OH BUT WAIT. She’s back. For a while anyway. (Also. An unfortunate event involving my laptop and a mug of tea has left me without any pictures to show of my summer. So I’m using my instagrams. It’s fine).
The past week, let alone the past month, has been far too great of a whirlwind to recap within one readable post on here, so I shall keep things concise yet illustrative for those hoping to keep tabs on the zigzagged life paths of Shannon French. Well. I am officially moving to California. I feel weird saying that and feel the west coast ego just brewing at the thought. Truth is- this little niche I tested out over the summer in my trial run out in San Francisco turned out to be incredible. More importantly though, I feel like it’s the best place for me to be at this exact moment in life. Career wise, it’s an international hub with several universities that specialize in global health studies and nonprofits/NGOs/cool local organizations that work with global issues (like HIV) are around every corner. It’s the meat of what I want to be doing and it’s a killer, albeit insanely expensive, place to be. In a lot of ways it is a complete 180 from both Blacksburg, VA as well as Virginia Beach, and I think that’s exactly the challenge and the diversity that I want to be absorbing right now.
Okay now for my summer:
I was a camp counselor at the JCCSF at a camp dedicated to gymnastics, arts, dance, and swimming. Yeah, I know, I wish I could be a camper too. The camp was as cool as it sounds. The interdisciplinary advocate in me loved the effort to intertwine the creativity of visual art and dance in with the athletics of gymnastics and swimming. HOW GREAT. How San Francisco. During the first chunk of the time I lived in the city, but moved to Berkeley soon after. And while I didn’t fall in love with Berkeley instantly, when I did it hit pretty hard. I lived in a house full of phenomenal musicians that doubled as wonderful humans in their off-hours, which was a craigslist score for “successful random roommates” in my book. About halfway through the summer I came to terms with the fact that I would not be working abroad for the upcoming fall and accepted that Berkeley was really the place I wanted to stay, if only for the moment.
Thus… the plan:
I’ll stay living in Berkeley, working in the San Francisco, throughout the upcoming year (and I am SO stoked about it). I’m coaching gymnastics at a few gyms and working an internship that deals with international education as it pertains to public health (kind of like study abroad programs that encourage healthcare professionals to get experience working in developing countries). That’s the short.
In between the Summer and the Fall sessions, I took a three week trip back east. A few days surfing, sailing, eating seafood in Virginia Beach (highlight real). A few more days in Blacksburg visiting all of my favorite people that just so happen to be there the same weekend and playing music and making s’mores and pancakes and staying up late all in the name of great friends. A brief stint to D.C. to see my lady Elizabeth (w/ You Me and Apollo) and wham bam I’m back in Virginia Beach to pack my life into my little hatchback and take off toward the opposite horizon.
WHICH brings us to my next plan. A Road Trip Blog. In all reality, It’s likely that I won’t keep this blog running on a regular basis, but in the name of travel, enough people encouraged the road trip segment that I think I’m going to revive the sunshine- if only briefly. So stay tuned!! This FRIDAY I leave VB for D.C. Beyond that, I’ll be westward bound and scheduled to start my new jobs on the 15th! Wow. I’m going to be staying mostly with friends and friends of friends doing this trip on the cheappppp. That said, I want to live a little and see a lot so any recommendations or any do-s and don’t-s would be much valued! As well as anyone who wants to chat on the phone to keep me company throughout the cornfields in middle America… please do.
Well. That’s all for now! I’ll keep ya posted with lessons learned from the road (: