I'm typing this post on my flight from FLL to JFK. From there I stop in Amsterdam, and then arrive in Budapest. #danacation has commenced and I'm spending a little over a week in Europe. From Budapest I'll go to Vienna, and then Prague.
I've been so slammed with work that I've hardly had time to think about this trip. At one point I was scared I was going to end up having to cancel my trip from a knee injury; thank goodness that was not the case! About a week ago is when the excitement set in. This morning I woke up around 6:30 because I was so thrilled the day finally has come! I've felt like I've been on the verge of bursting with joy all day long. Even the lady sitting in the window seating loudly discussing her book "What You Must Need to Know About Women's Hormones," to her friend beside her while placing her gnarly bare feet all over the plane isn't knocking me off my high.
There's just something about being in a new place that puts me in this state of happiness. I think it's the combination of knowing all of my senses are going to be stimulated by new things in a new environment, and around new people, paired with knowing I'll be seeing/experiencing things I've only read or imagined about up until this point. I think it's also knowing that when you travel with an open mind and a willingness to go beyond your comfort zone that it makes you a more rounded person, as it gives you firsthand exposure and knowledge of things outside of your world. It challenges the way you think. It's beautiful.
I'm taking this trip solo and booked it through the same group I went through back in September. I absolutely love how they take care of the headache (all things logistical - flights, hotels, transportation, etc.), and offer some pretty incredible experiences that I wouldn't have ever been able to pull off if I were arranging the trip on my own, but still include a generous amount of free time for us to do our own thing. It's a blend of planned and unplanned. Allows for the "gotta see its" and the moments of pure serendipity.
People ask me if I'm scared to go alone. The simple answer is no. The longer answer is that I'm more uncomfortable with the idea of not not doing something to enrich my life due to fear. Plus, I'll be traveling through a group, and rumor has it that there are other solos in it. Hopefully it's a great batch of personalities like last time; but if we don't vibe I suppose I'll have to suffer alone (sarcasm).
Some people react in awe with how often I travel, and say how "lucky" I am. The reason I'm able to do so is because I treat traveling like a top priority. I'm wayyy more likely to spend $200 on a plane ticket than I am shopping, or going out drinking, or buying overpriced-gasoline-flavored-lattes. So this trip has nothing to do with luck. But it has everything to do with making a plan to get to do what I love - exploring the world. I couldn't be more excited or thankful.