It’s just under two months until I take off for Stockholm. I have plans to give notice to work on Monday so it’s about to get pretty real. The anticipation is overwhelming.
As I sit on BART on one of many rides from the East Bay to SF over the next two months, I thought it would be fun to list some things I’m most excited about:
- The constant sense of adventure. At the risk of describing a “first world problem”, sounding ungrateful or unappreciative of how good I have it, how privelidged I am to live in America, have a steady good-paying job, loving family, friends, natural athletic ability (ha)…life can still find a way of getting cyclical, stagnant, unfulfilled. I’m excited to have an adventure, find some excitement, live on the edge a bit (safely, of course).
- Learning the public transportation systems in various cities. In my past travels I’ve found I get a lot of joy out of figuring out how to get around. From the London Tube, the S-Bahn in Berlin, or the NYC Subway, I just love the feeling of figuring it out.
- Slovenia and Vietnam. No particular reason, these places just intrigue me and I can’t wait to see them.
- Writing! I’ve never written for fun before and I think I’m going to like it. I’m hoping to make this more than just a documentation of where I went and what I saw, but the experiences that I have and the lessons I learn. I’m excited to see what I come up with!
- Scandinavian pastries…and all the other amazing foods along the way. No explanation really needed there.
- Meeting people from all over the world. Those that know me well know I’m not one to force myself into meeting new people. I’m excited to be forced out of my comfort zone and learn how to connect with people from all over the world, hearing their stories, and gaining new perspectives.
How about some things I’m most nervous about:
- Loneliness. I’m independent by nature. Watch our home videos and you’ll see me quietly playing with my dolls while my brother talks the camera’s ear off. But our lives are fueled by human interaction, and we thrive on relationships. Even if I’m constantly talking to people along the way, I recognize that there will be times I’ll just want someone to know me, and no one will.
- What do I do with myself today, tomorrow, next week? I’m taking a very loose itinerary approach, and anyone who knows me or has been on a trip with me knows that this will be a challenge.
- What will I do when this is over? I’m worried I won’t be able to stop thinking about what I’ll do when I get back. Will I go back to accounting? Will I find a new industry I’m passionate about? Will I fall in love with a city and decide to stay? Who knows. But I don’t want to think about it. At least not in the beginning. I hope I’m able to allow myself that freedom.
- Going unchanged. I know this is an unrealistic fear, but I fear this adventure will end, and I’ll come back, and life will resume with no noticeable difference. This is not to say I’m unhappy, or that I myself want to change. I guess I’m just hoping for an improved outlook on life. A better perspective.
- Bugs. Seriously, I’m afraid of the bugs in Asia. Just last night I made my brother kill a spider for me.