Boarded, seated and strapped in. Reykjavik, Iceland; only an 8-hour flight from SFO, but I don’t think that is enough time to prepare me for what may or may not be awaiting me when I land. The one thing that I think people underestimate is how half the fun of traveling is not knowing what you’ll encounter when you get there. You can read all the blogs and talk to all the experts, but what you experience when you get there has the infinite potential to be so much more than the stories you had heard. I have no idea what to expect when this plane touches down, but instead of nervous and cautious, I feel liberated.
Nothing could ruin this feeling for me. Praise the friends and family that loved me enough to sit me down before I left and tell me that the world is different than the small one I am used to. Maybe this was to scare me or make me worry about the people I was about to surround myself with in a new country, but it did the opposite. I love my friends and family to death, but your cautious words and concern made me hopeful instead of intimidated. This trip is not about being cautious or about carrying mace and wine bottle openers in my pocket for protection (sorry Dante and Aileen); this trip is about experiencing something that isn’t from suburbia and where I can’t find a Starbucks on every corner.
Now, all this excitement is not for my transportation to Keflavik. As I am sitting here in my seat, 18E, I have a guy sitting next to me rubbing Mary Jane oil all over his body and a crying child with parents who have not been informed that, while their child is adorable, he is not adorable enough to get away with ruining everyone’s ability to sleep for the next seven and a half hours. It’s ironic that the drug I don’t participate in and the tiny human I am trying to avoid from invading my life too early, have literally surrounded me.
I have never been to Europe and sitting here writing this out, I still can’t believe I have this opportunity. Liz, my partner in crime on this trip (and in life in general), and I have given up our apartments, packed up our lives and stored them away because we have no idea when we are going to return (and like it like that). We have our trip outlined up until we get to Paris and after that who knows where we will be. Today, our only possessions reside in two- fifteen-pound bags and our old school backpacks. Replacing our stressed college student lives and bodies will be two girls: makeup free, carefree, a little nipple free, independent women who *sometimes* don’t need no man.