“This is absurd” I whispered to myself as I stuffed my fourth and last t-shirt in my backpack. I cannot believe this is my life… and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that in a “I cannot believe that my life has come so far out of my comfort zone” kind of way. I mean I dreamed of traveling to faraway places for years, dreamed of seeing old town ruins and wistful white sand beaches. And now it was happening. There is honestly not much that compares to stepping into your dream. It is truly indescribable feeling. It all feels so right and like a giant leap off of the cliff at the same time.
When people said that traveling would be an adventure and learning experience that we would never forget… they meant it. Here is my number one piece of advice for you if you are planning on traveling the world: listen to other people’s advice but take it with a grain of salt. You have to learn your own lessons and we all travel in a different way. Allow yourself to have your experience. And if you need to pack the special shampoo as one last attachment to home then dammit pack the extra shampoo!
Let your adventures be your adventures. Plan how you want to plan or don’t plan at all. Spontaneity is travel’s best friend. Because there are just some things you can’t plan for.
Like injuries on the volcano…
You read about it here. This volcano hike was seriously one of the hardest treks we have taken. I do not take those words lightly. And Andrew blew out his knee 100 meters in. You learn to listen to yourself and your body in different scenarios. You have to decide if you move forward or you rest. Andrew trekked on. And though we were 1 hour behind everyone else. We freaking made it.
And ya know… we haven’t died yet, even when eating food that you question for just a second.
Look, I am going to sound so “first world problems” right here – but it is the truth… the food is an adjustment. It is a taste adjustment and it is a digestion adjustment. And when you open a can of tuna, that doesn’t quite small like tuna, but your only other option is to wait for a boat to take you to get something else for lunch you eat the tuna and you pray. Still not dead!
You know what else is an adjustment… and an eye opener?
The language barrier. I think this has been the most fun and frustrating challenge of them all. We choose to stay in places that really immerse us into the culture. So that being said in Central America, finding someone who speaks English in a primarily Mayan village is quite hard to come by. So you learn to mime and you learn to laugh at yourself a lot. Communication is the first thing we learn as a child and it is like we are starting all over again.
There will be bugs…
Bugs you do not like. Bugs you do not want to run into. Bugs that will make you dance around the house in a panic. I learned this when I met up with a scorpion in our living room. And I jumped on the back of the couch and cried like a little girl until Andrew let him outside. I did not like that experience. I can do snakes, I can do spiders, I can even do alligators. But weird looking bugs that are larger than a lizard…. Nope. I’m out. And when you see something that is a hybrid ant/spider/cricket you run. And when you find out it’s a scorpion in your house, you sleep with one eye open and a flashlight next to your bed.
Ah and yes… the fire.
Look… I still made dinner!
There was a small fire and I will own up to it. In my defense… I haven’t had a gas burning stove since I was a little girl. So I didn’t know that you press the ignitor right after you turn on the burner. Could have been pretty bad, totally could have caught us completely on fire. But it was just a small explosion. And now Andrew’s rule is never turn his back on me while operating the stove.
I know they seem like silly little lessons to learn. But it is my journey. And all of these pieces all of these stories, make me so grateful for what I have and who I am. There is so much to be grateful for in this life. There is so much to love and so much to laugh at. No matter where you are in your journey, do not ever forget that. Here’s to so many more journeys!
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