Monday, March 31, 2014

See the world.

I have a long list of places I want to go.
In theory, I wanted to live somewhere else for maybe a year. Then, though, all I could think about was how lonely and miserable I'd be as soon as the polish of excitement had worn off. At that point I'd simply be a foreigner in a country whose language I didn't speak, getting lost in street names I couldn't translate. And be wondering if the latest niece was walking yet, if I'd ever be employed again, and where was I going to find a reformed baptist church around here?
Anyway, I think that deep down I am a homebody.
That being said-- I love being a tourist. The places I've been can be numbered easily, and most of them are in the U.S.
I don't know why, but I feel like my window of opportunity for traveling is shrinking. I suppose I worry that I'll wake up one day soon and realize that not only do I not have any extra money for travel, but that I also can't get time off from my job. Or have no one to go with me.
A while back, I got invited to visit Africa. I sort of know some people living in Zambia. Whenever I mentioned it, my mother would get a slightly wild panicked look in her eye. Shortly thereafter, she would sit down at the computer. Helpful phrases would come... "You know, Em, that's in what they call here, 'The malaria belt'...."
or.. "Hmm. Political unrest. It looks like there was recently a big problem right where you want to go."
or... "Wow. EVERY American who goes there gets sick for at least a short time!"

Needless to say, she was not enthused about the idea of Africa. But then, honestly, I'm a fair weather tourist. I don't know how much of a legitimate 'adventurer' I am.

Which is why when the idea of Ireland came up, I jumped on it.
And my mother had nothing negative to say. She still looks panicked every time I talk about driving over there, but she merely adds a suggestion of looking up any and all tips that I can find about it.

So we are going for it. A couple of friends and I are going to inflict ourselves on that unsuspecting island in the not-too-distant future. I can't wait...
I will be happiest, however, when every single little detail is nailed down tight, and when I have everything perfectly well organized in a binder... Perhaps Gwyneth and I will go to Target later to pick up one.
But let's be honest. Today is a sweatshirt day. I'm not put together at all, and the idea of emerging from my haze of reading books to a 1yr old and trolling websites for bus trips into Dublin, isn't very thrilling. (Seriously. She won't stop bringing books for me to read to her. Then she looks up at me with those big blue eyes, hands me a book, and says "Pease" and I can't resist... 14 books later, it's classified as a haze.)

What surprises me is how many people are immediately negative about it. I say "we are going to Ireland..." and have been met with a lot of these kind of statements right off the bat.

"Oh. You know it's going to be really rainy there, right?"
(Because I'm not used to rain. It never ever EVER rains in western washington.)
"Ummmm did you know they drive on the left side of the road?"
"You won't think castles are very cool by the end of the trip."
(False. I will still want one.)
"Well. That's going to be a long miserable flight."
 "Isn't that expensive?"
(Yes. Yes it is.)

My search history is filled with things like "things to know before traveling internationally", "How travel adapters work" "How not to be stupid in another country" "hidden costs of travel" "surviving long flights" and "tips for driving the wrong way"....
So that's the latest adventure plan. I like it. ;-)
If you think of it, please pray for our safety, and for as much 'smooth sailing' as possible. 

1 comment:

Uriah said...

I'll bet those people with the negative comments are just jealous! I nearly said you'd be miserable for that very reason :)
Traveling is great and while I agree that "legitimate adventures" aren't usually much fun, if you accidentally have one, just remember what a great story it will be later... If you survive... (Try to survive. We'd miss you and your story ;)