It’s time to head back to reality for a few weeks. Yes, I’m going back to Chicago and my job for awhile before jet-setting off to my next destination and then multiple countries across the pond! This was only a preview into my much longer adventure beginning in January! I had heard that traveling to various parts of the world for extended periods of time changes you. I feel that it has already happened to me, even though I have only been a couple places so far and have only traveled for 3 weeks. I’m happy to announce 3 significant changes I’ve noticed in myself thus far:
Stuff – Why do I have so much stuff? I was perfectly happy living out of a backpack for 3 weeks and had everything that I needed – clothes, toothbrush, toothpaste - and even some things that I wanted – computer, iPod, camera. When I returned home to my parent’s condo where a small portion of my stuff was stored I was mad at myself that I had accumulated so many things over my life. For the most part, things just cause clutter, unless you are extremely organized and have lots of space. Experiences are what matter, not things. What are you going to remember when you’re 90 years old? Those 5 different kinds of lotion you just had to have or the day at the baseball stadium you spent with your grandparents? I kind of just want to throw everything away…although, I think if I got rid of my scrapbooks, Michael Jordan autographed basketball, and track medals I would have a coronary. It’s a work in progress.
Food – Prior to my trip every time I went out to eat, and sometimes even at home, I somehow convinced myself that I would never eat whatever food I was eating again and I had to eat the whole thing! Well, news flash to anyone, including myself, who has that same philosophy, the food will still be there tomorrow, next week and even next year! On my trip I found myself eating only when I was hungry, and only eating what I was hungry for, which was usually exactly enough to fuel my body. That, combined with my copious amounts of walking, led to a 5 pound weight loss and a drop in a pants size, without even trying! I think I like this new mindset!
Courage – I’ve never liked flying, didn’t fly for over 4 years after September 11, and was so scared to fly solo throughout my travels. However, I have somehow almost overcome my fear already! I don’t want to jinx myself for the rest of my trip but on my flight to Toronto and home from Boston I had a completely different mindset about flying. I realized that flying is just like any other type of public transportation, and the turbulence can be akin to going over a pothole on the highway or bouncing around as you go over uneven tracks on the train, which are no reason for alarm. Airplane travel allows you to get so many places so easily - I’m glad I’ve finally embraced that! And it’s at the perfect time too because otherwise this could make for a very unpleasant trip around the world.
I can’t wait to see what other changes traveling brings! I love the new me! I already know that this trip is the best decision I’ve ever made!
"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will."