November 5, 2016
And so it begins….
Today is the day I embark on the journey of a lifetime: Two months off work and an itinerary packed with amazing cities and adventures in South America.
Just as when I left work yesterday, for the last time in 2016, I have mixed emotions. I’m incredibly excited for what’s ahead… I’m feeling equally grateful and blessed. I’m scared and nervous about being alone, the language barriers, the unknown and unfamiliar. But I’m also feeling determined and proud. I’m eager to spend some quality time with myself, do something thinking and learning and growing (hopefully). That said, I’m already quite lonely.
It was weird getting ready this morning by myself in a quiet house, knowing I wouldn’t be waking to an alarm in my bed for quite sometime. At the same time, it felt as though I was simply getting ready for another weekend trip. No big deal… Until I thrust my enormous pack on my back, and pulled my smaller one on in front. This was not the luggage for a quick weekend trip. I nearly fell over putting it on, and my back already hurt just from packing it.
Perfectly, my Lyft driver was Latin American with family in Peru. Great start to the trip already. But then I got flustered trying to speak Spanish with her, so she quickly switched to English, sensing my struggles. Ok, not such a great start…
I was reminded how much I like international flights when the free movie menu appeared on the screen in front of me and free meal and (alcoholic) beverage service followed shortly after.
After an hour in line at customs in Mexico City and two more in a layover, I was pretty exhausted by my second flight. Sleep just wasn’t happening, so I studied my Spanish notebook from the class I took in the spring and then I watched an Argentinian film in Spanish. I’m going to speak Spanish in South America gosh darn it!
Now I sit, writing, thinking about what stories I’ll be sharing during the next 60 days, thinking about what adventures will inspire them. Even though I’ll have the stories saved here to refer to later, I hope they’re ones I’ll remember forever.
All my photos are viewable here: https://goo.gl/photos/Q9CEN7Vmi4UcFFoU8