The night before

August, 14th, 2015

It’s one o’clock in the morning. I can’t sleep. My apartment is completely empty, except for a beast of a backpack I bought the other day for $320 at REI, a carry on bag, a pillow, and my best friend sleeping on the living room floor. She’s such a good friend to stay here and wait until it’s time to drop me off at the airport. Thank you Vanessa, thank you. I will miss my friends and family so much it hurts, but I know that to travel is worth any cost. I will have to go it alone.

I’m sitting on the floor where my nice queen bed used to be, staring into space, contemplating the audacity of what I’ve just done. I decide to walk my apartment space and building one last time. Empty, empty everywhere. Wow, this feels surprisingly good. I am free and lightweight.

All my stuff was either given away, sold, or thrown in the trash. It was nice to send my things away to good homes. My apartment will have new tenants within weeks. I am officially homeless. Ha! My position with the high-end skincare company will be filled even faster. My car will have a new driver and my phone number a new name to answer the calls. That’s it. I am a homeless girl with a designer handbag and way too many skincare products packed in my backpack.

Some people think I’ve lost my mind and I can’t really blame them. We are raised in America to work.  From Kindergarten on through college, and later our careers run our lives until we either drop dead or retire in our late sixties. I subscribed to this plan, just like most of you. This is the way of life where I grew up.

Most of the other people, however, are envious of my courage to leave everything behind to follow my dream. People everywhere have become so transparent with me all of a sudden since I decided to do this. They say things like “Oh I SO wish I could do that! I’ve always wanted to go away and travel but I just can’t leave my job. I’m just about to get promoted and I couldn’t possibly walk away from all of that.” My favorite line has been: “It’s so great you’re doing this while you are young! You just CAN’T do it later in life.” Call me crazy, but I do not believe any international flights have an age cap. If it is your true desire, I believe you can travel at any age and get just the experience you need to get from it.

All I know is that this all feels so incredibly good. I couldn’t stop going down this path now even if I tried. It’s happening. In one hour, I will be at San Francisco International airport checking in to a one-way flight to Madrid, Spain. From Madrid, I will continue on through Europe for three months, then off to Thailand and the rest of South East Asia. From there, I will go on to Australia and New Zealand. I will make a complete circle around the world, stopping and detouring as I go to ensure I really see it as much as possible. The plan is not concrete, but the goal is: to experience every culture of the world.

This is my dream- to see the world in it’s absolute entirety. I want to feel the breeze in each continent, I want to taste the wine and the rare foods. I want to feel a part of this world- completely. I want to leave my heart in every country and a piece of soul in every bookstore. I want to learn how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in every language and to experience cross-cultural love. Each aspiration is different in it’s own way but they all have the same energetic spirit- that of my own. While I am leaving everything behind, I am gaining more than I ever could imagine in return. It’s a small price to pay, isn’t it?

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