I'm Ready

I'm currently sitting in IAH Terminal D (which sucks, by the way), eating a salad and drinking some wine. And it just hit me - it's here! Less than 40 minutes 'til I board my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. HOLY SHIT. 

I've really felt like this day would never come. Even earlier this morning, time was moving at a snail's pace. Saturday morning cartoons (naturally, I was too excited to sleep), yoga, Guadalupana brunch (I'll miss Mexican food), shower....it all seemed to take forever. And it was hard as hell to keep my mind focused on what I was doing/where I was. I think I've had a big, stupid grin on my face for at least the last 10 hours. My face hurts. 

I've been thinking about how my excitement has started to mask the fear, even make me think it's not there. But right now, it is. Butterflies in my stomach (they like wine). But I'm not worried. 

I heard two things this week in yoga that clicked for me: (1) "We already know the ending - we die", and (2) "play full out". (Sorry if that first one is morbid, but it's true. And thank you, Nancy. I hadn't taken your class in months and you said both of these (or something along those lines) this week). They clicked because I realized that the first one is true so why not live life to its fullest and "play full out"?! And the second one made me realize that my fear around this trip (and everything else) has been preventing me from doing just that - I've been playing it safe instead of taking risks and having fun! (Side note for my mother - this does not mean that I will be stupid and do stupid things or not pay attention to my surroundings. Calm down). 

The fact that these things have clicked for me in the past week, before I had even left on this adventure, make me even more ecstatic for what's to come over the next 5 weeks. I'm going to play full out and have an adventure, experience new cultures, eat ALL THE FOOD, and maybe get on my return flight at the end of March. I'm ready.

How an overpacker gets 5 weeks into 1 backpack.

I'm notorious for overpacking - just ask anyone who has traveled with me. Weekend trip? I obviously need my biggest suitcase. And I'm no stranger to the fees associated with luggage greater than 70lbs (I just view the >50lbs fees as the normal checked baggage fee). And whether it's for work or fun, I always bring a plethora of yoga clothes, only half of which get used. Unsurprisingly, this trip has been no different. 

I started gathering things for my trip a week ago by making a pile in my living room. Well, this pile very quickly grew to take over my living room. After spraying some items with permethrin and laying them on my floor to dry, I lost most of my walking space in my apartment.

Luckily, Mandy came to the rescue (after I bought a few additional items because you never know when you need another loose-fitting cotton grey tee). This afternoon she and I went through my piles. She made me get rid of the following: 1 dress, 1 skirt, Birkenstocks, LOTS of yoga clothes, several tank tops and tshirts. 

Then it came to packing. Previously, I've toyed with rolling my clothes, stacking them, and sometimes just quickly throwing them in a bag and hoping for the best. Well, today I opted for rolling, and man was it a success! My backpack (which has gone through Central and South America with me) has never been so small and light. It's currently 38lbs and could grow in height by at least 12 inches. Perfect for the purchases I plan to make!

I'm all set and ready to go! Next up, Germany (after yoga and breakfast tacos, of course). 

Facing My Fears

One week from today I will board a plane to Bangkok by way of Frankfurt. I'm anxious, fearful, excited. Exploring and venturing out of my comfort zone has always been a passion of mine - from my decision to go to boarding school to my move to Houston. What's changed as I've gotten older is the fear factor - it now exists. 

After college I got on a plane to Costa Rica to go work on a sea turtle project. All I knew was that once I arrived I'd hopefully meet the people I'd be working with. I did not know anything about them - what they looked like, even their names were a mystery. Boarding that plane was an adventure and, despite the circumstances, I was completely fearless. I used that trip to travel through Central America. After graduate school I took time to travel through South America, once again, not afraid of what I would encounter. It was all a big adventure.

Well, this time around it is still a big adventure. But there's fear involved. I don't know if it's because I'm older and therefore less naive, or if it's because I will have to deal with a language barrier, or because I haven't traveled out of the US much since South America. I don't know the why, I just know the fear is there. And in the past few weeks leading up to this trip, I've realized the fear is there in other parts of my life - my job, my yoga practice, my relationships. I want a change and instead I'm completely stagnant because of the brick wall in front of me. This trip is an opportunity to confront my fear, to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, so I can experience that courage again and make moves in life without fear of the unknown.