I've been relieved not to have the pressure of the everyday blog (EDB!) over my head this last month. It's been an intense month full of two (2!) unexpected trips to New Mexico for family health problems, some really hard conversations, and, you know, prepping and packing for this massive trip I'm taking in two days.
I've also felt keenly how much more I'd have written about all kinds of topics, if only I had made the time.
In any case, I felt really sure I should write something before I go. I'm planning to write every day while I'm gone, but I am not sure if I'll be able to post much or at all. The first part of my trip has no data and the second part may have no electricity. So.
One thing that has been on my mind heavily is packing. I am a packing light aficionado and have been struggling hard with the fact that I may well end up with two bags. It seems so DUMB and BLOATED to have that many bags, I mean, I took one bag to Mongolia for FOUR MONTHS but you know, I think this is how it is going to be. And the rather overwhelming amount of emotion I've experienced around this topic has led me to realize that I've invested way too much self-esteem in the whole "I travel light" concept. Talking to Mad King Thomas about it, Monica said something along the lines of: "There's so much shame around packing, no matter how you do it." And damn if she isn't right. Part of me refuses to go in for that, because I still believe so much in the idea that you don't need half of the stuff you think you do, but part of me also recognizes that there are a ton of social pressures around how much stuff we carry around, how prepared or unprepared we are, etc. I LOVE the prep part--the figuring out exactly what I can do without (two pairs of shoes) and what I must take (red lipstick, sheet mask, silver lame hot pants). I love the feeling that you have pared down to the bare essentials + one or two luxuries that are going to be so amazingly luxurious when you finally get there. But on this trip, I think one of my luxuries is space. I really wanted to be able to do a break-down of what was in my one bag, but alas and alack, that blog post shall not yet be!
I'm still looking out of the corner of my eye at the fact that I'm going to legit have 12 days to spend just BEING MYSELF. By which I mean: Taking dance classes and then fucking around a bunch (e.g. writing, reading, napping, jumping in a lake, taking pictures). I've had a few times like this in the past--when I went to Blacklock Nature Sanctuary stands out, but also a few home-grown writing residency type things. You know, as a creative type, I like to spend so much time beating myself up for how much time I don't spend fully dedicated to Creative Pursuits (because what other way would one spend their time). And the fact that, um, actually, I'm about to do something AWESOME and FULLY DEDICATED to creative pursuits hasn't quite sunk in yet. Because the fact is there's always somebody out there who is spending even MORE time fully dedicated and so I can feel bad about it.
But I'm trying to fight that feeling off and revel in it. Twelve days! To relax and be a human, and not worry about money and other terrible things.
(I write this after having a very near heart attack due to a business tax-related crisis earlier today, but I am going to resolve that in the morning).
I'm also feeling a new set of anxieties that weren't really present the last time I took off on a trip of this length: I have routines now! As a three+ year full-time self-employed type, I have built some seriously iron-clad routines that get me through the day and I know that the minute I step on that plane, all bets are off. I'm planning to spend some time on the plane coming up with a morning and evening check-in--an expenses review, a quick check on what I want to do that day, small task list as needed, stretch and drink a bottle of water--I'm not sure what it will be. But it's a fun way to think about keeping what works at home while not being bound to my home.
I'm also going to two continents I've never been to. I had kind of pedantically decided I wanted to visit ALL the continents before I went to Europe, just because I'm contrary, but when a semi-free trip to Europe appeared and I couldn't quite squeeze 'em all in (though I did actually try), I went for it. At the end of this I'll have been to Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. So, it would seem a trip to Antarctica via South America is on the books one of these days. I'm also trying to see the major deserts of the world, and the Sahara is on our itinerary.
Anyway, all this to say: I'm nervous and excited and totally ready to hit the air/road/camel/bus, spend some time daydreaming in Banyoles, shopping in Marrakech, and FINALLY seeing a cathedral in Barcelona. Plus, eating all of the things.