It has been a twinkle in my eye for a few years now, as travel normally is for us all. We all want to see the world one way or another. It doesn’t have to be in a big way. It can be as simple as a day trip to a city just hours away from you, but it seems to be that thing that everyone either does at that opportune moment or spends forever wishing they had. I never wanted to find myself saying that, not even for a second. One minute I’m posting photos of Greece and Ireland on my vision board, and the next I’m boarding a plane. What an amazing feeling.
It’s the night before I leave and of course, my creativity, or lack thereof, decides to strike at 2am. I guess my first thought when I sat down to write this post was, “well, where do I begin?”. I’m thinking something quite similar to that thought will be running through my mind the second I walk off that plane in Venice, Italy. That and the classic, “what the hell am I doing with my life?!”.
Okay, so maybe I would be lying a bit if I said I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m fully aware. In fact, this idea to backpack solo isn’t something I ever thought twice about. I never pondered about leaving or battled with the fear of facing the great unknown. I just knew I had to. An instinct, I guess you could say.
As an option I had nixed in order to go to university when high school ended, the thought to travel never stopped nudging. I knew back then that it wasn’t the right time. I needed to learn what I did over my past year before I could truly appreciate it in the way I know I will.
Just like I expected and entirely when I least expected it, the opportunity to backpack the world fell flawlessly into my lap last Fall, and I suddenly find myself here today, taking off in a mere 18 hours.
It’s funny… I really, truly thought that I would be able to throw some shit in a bag, sling my camera around my neck and peace out.
I promise you guys, it isn’t like the movies.
Unless you want to be careless about your health and safety and give every one of your family members a patch of extra grey hair, there were far more things to consider than I expected. Can’t anyone be spontaneous anymore? I guess you could say I learned a lot about necessities and how little anyone truly needs in life. When it was all said and done, I did end up throwing some stuff in a bag after all (or neatly folded it, I should say) but only the bare minimum (yes ladies, I did leave my heels at home this time).
Trust me, it all fits in one backpack
People always ask me if I’m nervous for this experience, gawk at my “no itinerary plan” or exclaim my personal favourite, “you’ve got some serious balls”. I was beginning to think there was something terribly wrong with me for not feeling the nerves I maybe should have. Well, it turns out I’m completely normal! Because you better believe I woke up with some butterfly friends this morning! They were all very positive though, mostly revolving around the realization that I am completely in charge of this trip. I am one hundred per cent responsible for the outcome of my experiences. There will be no tour guide to show me around or an air conditioned bus to get me from one place to the next. I won’t have built in friends or a crowd to hide behind while walking. It’s all on me. Which, of course, is exactly what I want, but the reality of it hit me a little bit more this time. Again, positive butterflies, excited nerves.
I hope that this blog gives my family and friends the best insight they can get into my journey while I’m gone and keeps their minds at ease (yes Dad, I’m talking to you!) Most of all, I hope that the people who are getting to know me through this blog for the very first time are inspired to go on an adventure of their own or seek out the stories in their community that they didn’t know were there!
Thank you to my beautiful friends who gave me wonderful pendants and messages to keep me safe. A part of you will be with me the entire time!
It’s all about the storytelling folks, through photos and words. I just know the world has something crazy in store for me, and I hope you’ll follow along with me as I discover what that may be.
Here’s to the next 143 days and whatever they may bring! It’s going to be a wild ride!