Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 0: Before Leaving the US

Today is the start of the first time that I'm actually traveling alone, and I'm terrified beyond reason. I can feel my stomach muscles tensing and it takes  lot of concentration to think straight. It doesn't make any sense because autonomy is something that I value greatly, and I spend most of my time alone because I prefer to. But I'm about to spend 27-ish days alone, in the company of people I've never met, in conditions that I have no idea about. For all the time that I spent looking forward to this, I think it's hilarious that I've genuinely thought about backing out several times within the past two or three days.

It's ironic that I can envision a life where this is the norm - where I can move from country to country, culture to culture without even a second thought so that I can contribute to a physically healthier world. This is an amazing opportunity that I'm so excited to be able to have, ecstatic to be a part of, and yet I'm doubting myself and not sure if I am cut out to live this sort of life. The thing is, I think it's awesome that I can explore a city on my own for a little while, and then be an integral part of an organization, Global Brigades, that I have worked so much with for the past two years. That much doesn't stop my brain from preparing for the worst, even though I prefer to go with the flow and deal with things as they come.

I think I'm most afraid of losing all my stuff on my way through London. I've heard stories about pickpockets, hostels, tourism by Americans in Europe, and each of those things alone is enough to scare me half to death, let alone together. Oh well. This is an awesome opportunity, something that I've looked forward to since I learned about travel as a career or priority,started pursuing global health (and public health), and found my independence years ago. Either way, I'm sure it'll be nothing short of fantastic!