When S and I first starting talking about going on this trip, I definitely experienced a period of extreme exhilaration. Whereas for many, traveling may be a way of life, for us, it’s definitely a very huge first on our bucket list. I found myself dreaming of grimy studio apartments with exposed brick, barely catching trains in the rain (well, basically anything in the rain), and sinking our teeth into pastries as steam from our piping hot coffee (tea, in my case) swirled around in the light from a cracked window of a local coffee shop.
I remember it being a lot easier for me to dream when our trip was so far away.
Now, I’m feeling the tide pulling me out to sea, a vast wonderland of possibilities and adventures but also a huge pot of unknowns and potential danger. I’m a small town girl really. I appreciate the constant, repetitive nature of a small town–the fact that you can go anywhere and see a familiar face. That everyone already knows you and what you’re good at (and alternately, what you’re not good at).
I have definitely found that my anxiety level has shot up in the past couple weeks. I want so desperately to be safe, to hide away, to pull my earth around me and be warm and comforted underneath my little-town rock.
This is exactly why we’re taking this trip–to uproot, to get a little bit uncomfortable. We’re traveling to unlock so much within us. We want to be: observers, writers, creators, problem-solvers, fixers, helpers, laughers, storytellers, learners, picture-takers, folklore-reinforcers, servants, mileage-calculators, healers, inspire-ers…
My senior year of high school, my youth group and I took a trip out to California. One of my most poignant memories from that trip was going to Knotts Berry Farm and riding The Supreme Scream, the largest turbo-drop thrill ride in the world that drops you 312 feet in 3 seconds at 50 mph. There were no lines that day, so we kept riding it over and over. The first couple of times, I remember bearing down, nearly biting my tongue in two, and gripping my seat for dear life. By the end, I was sticking my arms and legs straight out, opening my eyes, and just letting it happen. I’d focus on one part of my body at a time as we descended, noting how weightlessness felt.
Fear is something I deal with on a daily basis. After much writing, analyzing, praying through, etc, the fear, the best way I’ve come up with to deal with fear is simply to run at it. Full steam. Head down, screaming, legs kicking, eyes watering. But running at the fear requires a quick inhale. A full, deep, knowing air intake that prepares you to divert all your energies toward pile-driving through the fear and jumping into some of the best experiences of your life–what you would have missed out on had you stayed home in your little town.
That’s what this trip is all about. Sure, there are a number of things that could happen to us out in the big, wide world, but then again, a bus could run into my house tomorrow.
So, here’s to flinging out our arms and legs and just seeing what happens.
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We are so extremely excited to go on this adventure with you. I promise to be a true and honest observer and lover of details, so I can recount them to you–so I can let you in on our secrets we find hidden under rocks, in forests, in coffee shops, and reflected off of skyscrapers.
Ready? Let’s go.
S & C