There I was, looking for a change of venue, a big city to call home for the month of November. Boston and Montreal emerged as the two best (or only) options. A few craigslist conversations later and I was poised to accept a stranger's offer of a month-long sublet in downtown Montreal.
Then a blog post about a contest being put on by Collazo Projects caught my eye. Julie Schwietert Collazo is managing editor of the Matador Network, where much of my online writing can be found (see the blue box to the right for links). In addition to being a fantastic writer and intrepid journalist (she just got back from a self-arranged press trip to Guantanamo Bay!), Julie, along with her husband Francisco, has founded the Voces de Mompox project to provide educational opportunities to young students in Mompox, Colombia.
The contest was simple: make a donation to the cause, write a short letter of interest, and win the chance to stay at Julie and Francisco's apartment for free while they're away. So that's what I did.
And just like that, I'm headed to Mexico City next week.
Why is this so fortuitous? Next year, my goal is to travel to South America and take part in some type of long-term volunteer program. Living in Mexico City will be the perfect primer, allowing me to soak up the language and culture at my own pace as I work on a few projects and figure out exactly where I want to be and what I want to be doing next year.
When fate knocks this loudly, I'd be foolish not to answer.