I left in a whirlwind.

I hardly remember a thing. Pack, move, clean, repeat. Run errands, make time for friends and family; I had a constant list in my head. Although I had had the entire summer to prepare, I was somehow still in the middle of a frantic packing frenzy when my sisters came to pick me up that final evening. 

Zombiefied. That’s the best way to describe it. I stood unemotional as loved ones said tearful goodbyes. I felt frozen, my head filled with to-do lists and self-reminders. This was not how I had wanted to leave…but I didn’t have a choice. 

“I can’t stay,” I explained softly to my mom as she hugged me one final time before boarding the shuttle. And I couldn’t. That life didn’t fit anymore, and I needed to do something drastic.

I thought the reality would set in on the plane, or in my first hostel, or after a couple of days on this new continent, in this different culture. I kept waiting for “the big freak out”…but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it won’t. 

Leaving my job and my home and my family seems so huge in theory, but now that I’m here, it just feels right. Natural. Like it was always going to be this way. And I think that scares me most of all, because I don’t know how long I will continue to wander…

“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”   -Ana├»s Nin

(Sculpture found at Qorikancha in Cusco, Peru and so perfectly fit this quote…I flipped her so she’s upright:)

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I never meant for this to be a travel blog.

I originally started this site because I had so many thoughts that I needed to get out, and I type much faster than I write. It was healing to express myself completely anonymously, and know that I could go back and reread those posts, and remind myself that I couldn’t continue on that particular path, no matter how comfortable it seemed.

But now that I’ve left, that I’ve officially committed to this “school year of travel”, I’ve got friends and family who want to join me in my journeys…and I understand that. I wonder, now that I’ve shared my link, what they think of previous posts. I know I shouldn’t feel embarrassed, but I do. So much of me is completely exposed.

And so I’ll try to relay my journey, while remaining authentic to this blog’s original intention. You might not see a day-to-day account, but I’m hoping to share mini-adventures and overall impressions, thoughts, feelings, etc. that left their mark on me. I’m hoping to somehow document a personal evolution of sorts…but already that’s putting too much pressure on this trip, and I’d rather experience it in real time, without expectation. 

In short, this may not be what you expected to read, but I’m hoping you’ll join me anyway. Ready or not, world, here I come!