ugly world traveler

so here's what i thought: world travel is glamorous. it's sexy. it's freeing.

so here's what i'm realizing: world travel is scary. it's stressful. it most certainly involves my spouse dragging giant bags to the scale at publix multiple times to see if we can get them to exactly 50 pounds each.

i am leaving on wednesday to visit my dear friend/sister-from-another-mother who lives in a quaint village in the mountains outside of cape town, south africa. when she called me last july and said, "hey, can you get away for two weeks to come visit? i'm paying!" i said, um, YES. i didn't even stop and think about it. i mean, i was freelancing, working for myself, and my spouse is the best dad there is--he knows how to do laundry, make lunches, tuck in kids, meal plan, carpool, tend to boo-boos. so it really was a no-brainer: of course i would go to south africa. for two weeks. by myself. even though i've never traveled anywhere like this EVER in my ENTIRE life by myself (or even with people--the farthest away i've ever been is the dominican republic, and i freaked out basically the whole time we were there).

the trip was planned for november, and for several reasons we had to postpone it. i secretly felt relieved. i wasn't really ready, i told myself. by that time, i had a fantastic job in an office, with lovely people and lovely work to do, so i just didn't want to leave. not yet. plus, it was close to thanksgiving, and then christmas was right around the corner--and that relates...somehow, right?

so we rescheduled for march. which was WAY better because it was springtime, and the pollen count would be ridiculously high so it was a great time to escape the swirling yellow dust...right?

and i've been fine. really, i have. until last week. when i started saying, wait a minute, do i have to go? do i really have to go? i mean, it will be the adventure of a lifetime, but what about my people? what about doing all these amazing things without them?

and it made me realize how tied i am to the people around me: as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a coworker. i love these people. it's not really that i think life will fall apart without me: i am confident that it won't. in fact, it might be just a little more relaxing without me around as director of the home (but also way more chaotic...right?).

no, what i realized is that i am scared to be alone. to be with myself. to listen to the voices inside me, good and bad, and write about them, sit with them, tell them where to go if i need to... i spend so much time tending to my four favorite people that i rarely stop to listen to my own thoughts. (clearly this is obvious since the last post on this blog was june 2014, during which i plead for someone to save me from summertime with my children! for the record, i would NEVER say that now...)

so this is the side of travel we don't see in fancy magazines. there, everyone has long legs and wears a white bikini and has no cellulite and lounges by the pool... oh wait, never mind--i digress.

i am a lucky girl to be as loved as this. and to love so many. now, if i can just make it onto that plane, i'll be set...right?

(if you want to keep up with my trip while i'm away, check back in here for hopefully daily posts!)


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