As I write this, just 5 days from my departure date, reality still has not hit me. I know that at this time next Tuesday I should be in flight on my way to Miami, but it doesn’t feel real! I think it’s because to this point, everything has been so routine; there has been no real evidence that my normal is about to be obliterated. I still get up at 5 am to go to work each day, still work my second job in the evenings and weekends, still split my time between the city and the country, and still don’t spend money on anything. Lately, I have been so busy focusing on what needs to get done here, I have honestly barely thought about what it will feel like to be out there.
But, I don’t have much time left before it just IS real, so I think it’s about time I start living in the moment and appreciating this place that I’m in. I want to feel the anticipation and the anxiety, the excitement and sense of great expectation. Maybe by laying it all out here, my brain will finally catch up:
I have TWO days left at work. Between now and my departure I will sleep in my own bed for just THREE more nights. I only have to wake up at 5 am to get to work ONCE more. In just FIVE days the average daily temperature where I live will go from below 30 degrees to somewhere in the 80s. My phone number will go from a 646 area code to a randomly assigned 209 on my international SIM card. I will go from saving mode to spending mode, living off of approximately $50 USD a day. Completely structured days will give way to 100% free, open days full of every possibility.
In just FIVE short days my life will belong entirely to my imagination.
That’s pretty big! And I think it just hit me.
Hola a todos!
I know, it has been a while since I last posted. It’s not because my plans have changed or have fallen off track, but because everything has been going so well! When I first started on this journey, I needed this blog to keep me honest; to help keep me motivated and to give me something to do while I waited and waited and waited. Well, time has passed and any doubts that I can or will go through with my SoleJourn have dissipated to the point that I don’t NEED this blog in the same way I did before. Whether I tell other people about it or not, this is happening! So, from now on I will spend more time enjoying my summer and then the final preparations before I leave, and will publish to this blog when the urge strikes me, rather than on a schedule. No worries, I do still plan to post WHILE I travel; that is the good stuff anyway, right?
So, I’m writing today because I feel as if I’ve entered a time warp! The last two months have flown by and all of a sudden my departure seems almost soon! I am no longer having awkward conversations with people who can’t understand why I am making such a big deal about something so unfathomably far away. Now, people understand my excitement because back to school, the holidays and New Year’s are all beginning to enter their minds; six months doesn’t seem like such a long time. Yes, that is right, 6 months. 180 days on the nose! 180!
180 days left to wait and things are getting more real and more tangible by the week. Just this past weekend I submitted my application to volunteer for 2 weeks in Belize and I have heard back already that they would love to have me. It’s official; all I need to do is solidify my arrival date and I’m all set. Once that is done I can choose my arrival date for Spanish School in Guatemala and pay the $40 deposit to hold my place. I also started a Peace Corps application this weekend. I don’t intend to submit until right before I leave, as the application process takes about a year and I am trying to time any offer I might get for early 2015. But the application is very detailed and includes essays and references, all which take time to write and secure. Since I have travel plans in September and my job gets busy in the fall, this is my last chance to focus on applications alone. I’m beginning to freak out a bit, in a good way.
Then there is the saving game…well, that has been going as well as I could have asked for. I have saved up about 80% of the money I need in only 68% of the total time I have. This means that I can either relax my spending bans a bit for the rest of the year or keep them up and exceed my goal (barring any unforeseen circumstances of course). This is obviously awesome, because who doesn’t want more money than they thought they could have? I am finally starting to see the up side to toiling for 10 minutes over whether or not I should buy peanut butter when it’s not on sale! (Saving $2 IS worth it when it can buy you an hour-long bus ride or breakfast or 2 beers or entrance to a nature preserve).
To sum it all up, things are legitimately starting to fall into place, and I am finally enjoying the ride a bit instead of just living for the end result. Things are good.