Wow I’m a big bag of emotions. I’ve been stomach sick the few days prior to leaving, so rather than making meticulous lists and pack/repack/repack again, I spent those days laid up and crossing my fingers that I would keep something down. I spent only about an hour the day of my flight mindlessly rolling a few things into my mighty backpack. None of this bothered me until I sat on the runway waiting two hours before taking off for Santiago. I jammed my feet next to my carry on tote, a shopping tote from my Co-op in VT for a touch of home, and I realized I may have over packed. This is also when I realize I planned very little for this trip, and now I may have over packed, and what in the hell do I think I’m doing. My heart began to race, I got the anxiety sweats, and I was on the verge of tears. After a moment of calming breaths, a few blows of the nose, and a hearty mantra of “I think I can, I think I can”, I thought I had backed myself off the ledge of tears. Which is funny because I have never succeeded in doing so, and I really should have known now was not going to be the magical time. As an aside, for those who may not know, my emotional regulation between 3-7 is spot on, above or below that I’m a’la Kristen Bell (look up her sloth video for clarification). Anyways, having tricked myself that I was functioning at normal human levels again, I turned to the very old gentleman beside me and acknowledged our luck with an empty middle seat between us. As soon as he acknowledged our good fortune as well, fat, hot tears slowly rolled down my checks. His face was priceless- I think for a second he thought he may have ran my puppy over. Feeling defeated by my own ball of nerves, I sheepishly wiped away my tears and attributed them to a fear of long flights. Which of course sent my mind off spinning, collecting all the tidbits of recent news that would prove long haul flights have been a little scary lately.
Flash forward 17 hours and I have officially hit the ground in BA! I made it through customs, got my passport stamped, figured out the bus. And by God I may actually navigate myself to my hostel. As my Grandma would say_ Thank you sweet baby Jesus! I’m on my way!
**NOTE: I know feeling nervous, anxious, and excited is perfectly normal for this trip. But it sure does feel uncomfortable. And I chose to challenge myself in this way purposefully to make me uncomfortable and to challenge myself to work through it. But damn, the easy route is popular with very good reason! **Breath, breath* I think I can, I think I can.**
Flying over the Andes!