It’s a weird feeling when goals become realities.
For years, I have been dreaming and scheming and saving and planning to go around the world. It was one of those bucket list things – the ones you imagine and hope for, but feel very big and very far away. And then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.
Because this morning, I got on an airplane. I checked my carefully-packed backpack and, like a bird escaping winter, I headed south. First to Miami, where I was reminded of a night not too long ago when I slept on the floor outside of security trying to get from Dave and Julie’s wedding to Sean and Julia’s wedding. I remembered sitting in that same airport years earlier, meeting the Boston students who would become my friends as we all moved to Ecuador. And today, the Miami airport made me realize that this is really happening. I am exploring the world and adventuring and accomplishing one of the biggest dreams I’ve ever had.
Many things make me nervous about the journey: safety, of course, and logistics. Most of all, I worry about being lonely – it’s a hard thing to be in new places with new (and unknown) people all of the time. But it’s also a cool thing.
Just this evening in my first few hours in Colombia, I relied on my admittedly rusty Spanish to chat with my cab driver, Juan Carlos. We talked about the Mexican circus in town and the temperate climate in Bogota and how he had always heard women from Chicago were beautiful (yeah, yeah…I love Latin America). I sat around the table in my hostel chatting with people from Detroit and Richmond and London and the Netherlands. I heard stories of weeks and months exploring Colombia, while I will only be here a few days.
So yes, I might be lonely sometimes. But I think I’m going to be ok.