I'll be in the "old world" or Europe.
Sorry it's been a while since I've written. Since I got laid off, I've been on mini adventures hiking and baking and working out and dancing. It's not really anything to write home about, just doing the daily grind. I no longer sit in front of the computer any more (I stand at it, which leaves me little patience to write a blog) but I thought I'd check in before I left on my "Great European Adventure".
In three days, I'll be in Holland.
You see, I'm not a traveler, I'm a homebody. The only places I'd been to were Mexico (and its entrails) and Vancouver B.C. with my brother to see a Radiohead concert, that is pretty much it.
Then one year, after much talk with the ex of traveling here and there and never going anywhere, I decided I'd go alone...to visit that is. If I do travel, it never is alone. I don't like it. I know some people enjoy the thrill of traveling solo and meet new people, new friends, even new lovers. Me? No, I need a reason to go. It must be something deep down inside: I need a "reason" to justify why I'm going. Plus, I just don't like to travel alone and having to meet a stranger is just *not* that applealing to me. So a few years ago, I reconnected with one my best friends from high school who was living in Boston (or technically Alliston) Massachussettes and she invited me to visit. I said "what the hell, sure!" So off to Boston, Mass. I went one August. I'd never been to the east coast and I knew that Boston was quite the historical hub. I loved it. I went to visit an old friend AND I got to explore the city a bit. It was a good mix of sight seeing tourist and of seeing her every day life. We even went to Rhode Island so I can say I've been there too!
After Boston, it was LA. Sure yeah LA isn't *that* appealing but one of my best friends from college now has lived there about 4 year so we make it a yearly thing and honestly, she's made LA quite appealing. I even thought of moving there.
And of course, there were the occasional trips to Seattle and Bainbridge Island that I'd do every few months to visit a friend that has now moved back to Portland.
Another place I went to was San Francisco as a gift to my mom for Mother's day. We went last year in September and I fell in love. I didn't realize how wonderful traveling could be, how seeing how others lived could open my eyes, but of course, it also makes me very grateful to live where I live now.
And yes of course the trip to Mexico to visit family. Last year, it was for Day of the Dead in Mexico city.
But Europe? This was in a whole different category all together, the category of "go before I die" but really, "I probably won't do it". So many things held me back from this, so many silly little things until I snapped out of it. This is the first trip I've planned for now reason other than: I want to and I deserve to. People ask my "why are you going to Ireland" versus say Italy or Spain. And the answer? I don't know. My chiropractor said "Well, you'll know when you get there." And I do believe her. My whole life, I'd had this fascination with Ireland, Scotland...London. London appeals to me as a city girl, but Ireland touches me and lives within me on an emotional level, and I don't know why. I've always wanted to go but at the time that this trip was being planned or mulled around, I had no one to go with. Then as luck or the universe would have it, I got back in touch with a close high school friend (via facebook of course) who was an exchange student from Holland. We emailed, we chatted on the phone and then came the magical invitation: you should come. And I said to her, "you know, I think I will." That was almost a year and a half ago. After that conversation, so many changes have taken place, not just physically around me, but also mentally and emotionally with in me. Instead of feeling guilt for the pending exodus, I'm excited because this trip is for me, to celebrate me, to give ME a gift and stop waiting around for my life to happen because I am MAKING it happen.
I have all the ingredients I want in it: money saved up, time off, awesome friend to go visit and the countries *I* want to see because something within my squishy pink heart tells me to. I've not planned ANYTHING, which is also unlike me. All I know is when I'm getting there, what countries we plan on visiting and when I leave. That's it. The rest will come as we go along and no matter what happens, where we go, what we miss, it won't matter because I was in EUROPE! Me, this Mexi-Merican will be IN EUROPE. I'll be in the place where it all started, La Nina, La Pinta, La Santa Maria, where most of my mestizo mixing ancestors are from, where yours are from, where it all started and continues. I will be there. I will be in Europe and I truly can't believe it.
But I can't wait.