I’m in a metal capsule hurling through the atmosphere towards the equator. It still hasn’t sunk in yet, but this has to be one of the coolest AND hardest things I’ve ever done. I know I will get used to it, but I also know that the first few days (hopefully no more) will be the hardest.
But it’s not like I haven’t gone through similar feelings before. I went 800 miles away from home to college in South Carolina and didn’t know a soul. I cried for the first week or so when I got to my hot, sticky, non-air-conditioned dorm room. I missed my high school boyfriend terribly. I hated my new, odd roommate from Georgia (who’s father happened to be the lawyer for James Brown—but that’s another story I don’t even know). It wasn’t even half way into the semester when I was already applying to transfer to universities ‘back home’ like Rutgers and the University of Delaware.
By the way, does anyone know ANYTHING about Delaware?? It’s like the secret state. I must go there on my next US tour. I mean I literally lived in the state just to the north of it (NJ for all you geographically challenged) and never heard a peep out of it. I know where I’m from it was a bit overshadowed by the huge lurking metropolis just to my east, but c’mon…not even one news story? It’s kind of like Canada. Eh?
Anyway, I was actually accepted into the University of Delaware and Rutgers, but come my second semester at USC, I’d already started having fun and decided to stay.
I also took a huge leap of faith when I moved to Chicago and only knew about two people there—one was my friend Jim who with his girlfriend at the time (now wife), Jennifer, took me out for one of my first dinners in Chicago at Rosebud on Rush. And they just took me out for one of my last dinners too. To this day we remain great friends.
Chicago was a bit easier of a transition—I had a great new job at ABC and I loved the city in an instant. Plus it was good to be back in “yankee” territory again. Better food, cooler people, and…windier wind.
As the time ticked down on my days in Chicago it slowly started to hit me and I began to “feel” what I’d been telling people I was about to do. It’s much easier to SAY you are traveling around the world for a year than to know what it FEELS like to actually do it! The last days were also filled with so much stress—packing, selling car, renting condo, cleaning, etc., that I didn’t even have time to sit and reflect on what I was doing.
I packed up all my stuff and put it in those big crates that they just haul away to some far off warehouse (in this case Libertyville). Slightly unnerving to see all your belongings being fork lifted down the street.
My final week in Chicago, friends took me out to dinner every night. It was as if I was on death row waiting for my execution and I was getting to pick my favorite meals. The last 6 nights in a row consisted of Thai, Sushi, Middle Eastern, Italian, Indian, and finally, Greek. Opa!!
So, where was I? Oh yeah, on a plane to Costa Rica. As we climbed altitude and broke through the clouds, a bright luminous full moon came into view. Gotta be a sign. I hope my transition time into this trip doesn’t take a semester. I don’t think it will. Many people have said to me that ‘I’m living so many others’ dreams.’ While many have also said what I’m doing ‘takes a lot of guts.’ So, the way I see it, those two things don’t exactly mix. I think in fantasy this is a dream trip for many. But in reality, the packing, leaving everything, quitting, saying good-bye for a year is way too much a risk for most. I had thought about doing this a while back, but even for me it was too much. But then this year…my plan seemed to slowly evolve right before my eyes and before I realized it—I was going to do it. Kind of like most other big decisions in life—you never really know what the outcome will be until you do it.
(ding) “The captain has just turned on the safety belt sign, please raise trays and seat backs to their upright and locked position and fasten your seat belts as we prepare for landing. Gracias”
So…here I go.