Today I was looking through some older pages of my notebook and found this entry from before I left for Japan. It seems like just yesterday I was driving to the airport with my stomach in knots and my heart a mess of anxious anticipation because it was finally starting to sink in that I was about to see my best friend for the first time in almost a year. Travel seems to go in a particular cycle for me. By this I mean:
Several months before trip: block trip out of my mind so I won’t go crazy with longing to pack my bags 93 days before actual trip.
One month before trip: go psycho CRAZY with to-do lists, Pinterest travel tips, planning destination specific outfits (most likely 36 whole interchangeable outfits for a 7 day trip), and worrying that my bag will be too heavy but WHO CARES I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!
One week-One day before trip: have a major crisis. No really, last time I locked myself out of my apartment the night before a 5am flight with nothing packed and couldn’t get back in until 2 in the morning, (Helllllooo, Starbucks! Even though all my Pinterest lists say this is a no no for airplane travel…shhhh.) Well folks, the major crisis before this trip was…that’s right, a ROOT CANAL. Blech. Add to this the fact that our apartment lease happened to be up while I was going to be out of the country, so I had to pack up and move my entire house the weekend before the trip. So, root canal Thursday. Moving house, Friday-Sunday. Flying out, 7am Monday morning.
Wee hours of the early morning on The Day of trip: wake up, or at least have my eyes open at the wee crack of dawn, because who wouldn’t schedule an extremely early morning flight? No sleep for the anxious traveller! Mum always drives me to the airport where I tell her about 19 times that I’ll miss everyone and please please please give all the kids and dad one more hug from me because let’s face it, even though I can’t imagine that I could love traveling any more than I actually do, I always always ALWAYS miss my family.
And then I’m stumbling with my overly packed luggage and trying to decide why it was a good idea to wear my hat for a day of 30+ traveling hours (actually it did save me from my flight hair, fist pump!) Those cute little butterflies that are so adorable when you’re in love but not so much when you’re at the airline gate and your knees won’t stop bouncing up and down and you’re checking your ticket about 3 million more times than actually needed to make sure you’re in the right place because your months and months of anticipation for this trip will NOT be ruined by not being fully awake and functioning and missing your flight and then suddenly without really knowing how it happens, you’re sitting in seat 24A looking at the sparkling lights of the incredible view of the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex and saying Sayonara! See ya never! I’m off to a magical land with the grandest blue ocean you’ve ever laid eyes on, unfamiliar cultures, and a bag full of summer fresh outfits fit for walking the beach and strolling through the crowded streets talking about nothing and everything with my best friend ever.
And then 23 hours later I am completely and utterly worn to the bone and the excitement is still there, but it’s just a tad hidden by the huge bags under my eyes, the way it feels like someone must have thrown ten bricks into my shoulder bag without my knowledge, and the unquenchable thirst for h2o that can only be brought about from an 11 hour flight.
And finally I am waking up from the first 2 hours of sleep I’ve gotten in at least 25 hours after having the nicest conversation with the most adorable marine sitting next to me and then I’m saying goodbye and nice to meet you and suddenly I am trying to keep the wind from blowing my hat off my horribly atrocious plane hair while boarding the transit bus to the airport and waiting for my checked luggage with only the slightest amount of worry that it is still somewhere in the Mother Land, because let’s face it, I’m much too tired for actual panic to set in by this point. And finally I am walking out the doors and being greeted by my Best with an actual sign with my name on it (spot on, H!) and everything is perfectly right in the world because I’m about to spend 10 full days with my Kindred Spirit in this tropical paradise where I can communicate only by the phrases good afternoon and thank you, and that doesn’t even matter because I am happy and I am free and I am living out my dreams.