Ah, here we are. The day before my departure…naturally, I find myself hopping around my house trying to locate various articles of clothing, electronic chargers, and my particularly elusive Organizational Skills.
Not to mention rounding up things to send to IU with my future roommate, taking care of absentee voting, buying last-minute needs, STILL attempting to contact IU professors about my senior thesis, etc etc. So, with all that going on, I’m sure you’re wondering why the hell I’m wasting time writing yet another pre-departure blog post. But, there’s an issue or two I would like to address briefly before I go (and yes, I will *try* to be brief, although that is NOT my strength when I’m writing).
Several of my friends have jokingly asked me, when learning of my travel plans “So, you must really hate America/us/home, huh?” Truth, little children? No, no I do not. 🙂 Actually, the more I travel, the more I appreciate the comforts of home and the USA. (Read: We have cheeseburgers.) Probably the suckiest thing about adventuring off into the unknown is that, whether I’m departing or returning, I’m always leaving people I love and care about. While leaving foreign places is undoubtedly more unfortunate in the fact that the chances of my meeting with those people again is MUCH smaller, leaving home isn’t fun either. I’m very conscious of how much I miss out on when I leave, and I do get fairly wistful when I’m off and looking at what everyone is up to on facebook and whatnot. I don’t really ever get homesick-not even when I was a kid going to sleepovers-because frankly, I tend to lock-in my focus on things that are smack in front of me, or in the future. If it’s not there, I just don’t think about it.
But I don’t want to travel so much because I don’t love you guys, or because I’m just bored with you and the USA. Firstly, I just adooore seeing different, beautiful parts of the world and their people. Secondly, going to new places and living in crazy new environments (I say “crazy” given that so far I seem to have developed an affinity for 3rd world countries with long-necked animals that spit at you) allows me some degree of freedom I don’t get at home. It’s not that it lets me be someone different, but really it lets me be a part of myself that often gets repressed by responsibilities and schoolwork and stress. It helps me get to connect to things and parts of myself I often miss–whether that be enjoying the outdoors or just taking risks without fear of immediate retribution in some form, it doesn’t matter. There were days in Jordan when something would just REALLY irritate me, and I’d be in a bad mood for maybe all of 30 minutes before I’d have some crazy taxi driver taking me home, or some shopkeeper would randomly speak to me in Spanish, or my host family would surprise me with my favorite meal for dinner, and I just couldn’t be in a bad mood, because when I looked at where I was and how lucky I was to be there, everything became much more bearable and fun and my mood would instantly be soothed.
Case in point, if you kind of zoned out during that long paragraph, I love to visit new places and have adventures.
But, my little duckies, never doubt that I am always, always, always so happy to come back home and see all of you. And if I have mild failures keeping in touch while I’m gone, don’t be insulted–because trust me, I still care very much about you, and want to be there to support/help/talk to you, and if you send me a note or something it will make my day. Like I said, I just get wrapped up in the present.
Now then. Back to trying to talk myself out of bringing umpteen million shirts with me. Next time you hear from me here, I’ll be in Peru. 🙂