To Travel is to Live

It’s the last few days of December and most people are thinking about all the things they didn’t do this year. The forgotten resolutions and weight that wasn’t lost. Not me. I’m sitting on the floor of my bedroom, beside disorganized boxes and an empty suitcase, thinking about how I haven’t thought much about my upcoming travels. Why am I on the floor? Glad you asked. My closet threw up all over my bed and it was either sit with a hanger poking my back or sit on the floor. So here I am, pretzel-legged on my bedroom floor with only the bright light of my laptop keeping me awake.

But what am I thinking about? Clearly my bed is a pretty nice metaphor for my thoughts. I leave for Denmark in what? 20 days? No no, 22 days? Something like that. That is under a month. I got space bags for Christmas, bought a new coat, and started to sort through clothes I want to give away. I’m still not ready! I still don’t really feel like anything is about to change. But something is going to change. Everything. Everything is about to be different.

I was sitting in a local coffee shop today, Colectivo to give you a better idea. (I’d just like to jump in here and say it is only for the purposes of being technically correct and respectful that I write “Colectivo”… for those of you who know me, I still say Alterra like nothing has changed. You see! This has to be a sign that I am just not equipped to deal with major changes! How am I going to move to a different country for more than a month or two?)

Anyways, I was sitting in this coffee shop talking to an old friend of mine. We talked about high school, and middle school even, and then, after the necessary laughing about the past and how foolish we once were, we moved on to talking about the future. Life changes a lot in a short span of time. And at the same time, it doesn’t change at all. Something from five years ago feels like it happened yesterday, and something that happened yesterday feels like it happened five years ago. Class periods that feel like they will never end suddenly are years in the past. It’s so weird to think that this coffee outing that just happened with an old friend will soon be in the distant past.

ANYWAYS, I thought about this trip I’m about to take, this life changing adventure I am about to embark on. And I thought about how soon it will be over. And I felt sad.

Sitting here, in my messy room, surrounded by posters of bands I no longer listen to, dance trophies I won half a decade ago, and textbooks from a semester I just finished, I’m realizing life passes by pretty quickly, and even though you can’t do it all, you can do what makes you happy. And if you’re happy most of the time, I think it’s safe to say you’re doing something right.

There are a million and one things I want to do with my life. A zillion dreams that have passed through my thoughts about who I will become and how I will get where I want to go. And of those millions and zillions of dreams, one of the most important ones is almost real. I am about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of the first portion of my life.

Going into Denmark, I am going to think not about how soon my time there will end, but about each and every moment in-between my arrival and my departure. And even though my suitcase is pretty much empty, and I feel completely discombobulated, I am ready. I am so ready for this adventure.

As one of my favorite Danes said, “To travel is to live.”