Can I be sentimental on here?
With a site title like ‘Fuck Your Travel Blog’, being mushy is kind of taboo. Funny to think about something being taboo on a site that starts with the F word.
But I can’t help it. Because ever since I could remember, I’ve dreamt about traveling the world. And TOMORROW my life’s dream is coming true. Wow.
Travel is in my blood. My parents both met and got engaged on an airplane. Before I was born, they scuba dove in the Great Barrier Reef and the skeleton-filled shipwrecks of Truk Lagoon. Growing up, our house was covered in artifacts from their travels; a huge stone boomerang from the outback, a beautiful macaw feather from some remote jungle, a picture of my Mom with a fish bigger than her, and of course a globe that I would often spin as a child, daydreaming about wherever my finger landed. Everyone older than me in my family has a pilot’s license, and my grandma casually mentioned the other day that she and my Opa (granpa) have been to 38 countries in the last 10 years. My mom was a flight attendant, and I was flying internationally since before I could walk.
But after graduating college, I gave up on my travel dreams. Even though I picked my college major and subsequent career so I could be location-flexible. Even though half of the stupid quotes I pinned on my pinterest boards were about seeing the world. Even though my soul died a little bit knowing I’d given up. I’d gotten a corporate, salaried job with Coca-Cola, I was gaining connections in my city, and I was settled, all at age 22. I felt stuck.
Though my career changed quite a bit since then, I always felt resigned to staying here.
And then I met Topher.
One of our first conversations was about how he wanted to live and work abroad. My ears perked up and I thought, Hey, this guy is interesting. I’d never dated someone who wanted to travel, and my last boyfriend had never even been outside the country before.
If it weren’t for him, I probably would have never found the courage to uproot my job, my life, and follow the dreams I’ve had since I was a child. They say meeting the right person makes you more of a force to be reckoned with. In our case, that’s absolutely true.
But while I am on the edge of my seat with excitement, I know there are a lot of dark times ahead on this trip.
This round-the-world trip won’t be all sunshine and rainbows.
I’ve lived abroad before, and while it was overall the best year of my life, it was also the most challenging. There were about 2 and a half months where I was basically just a shell of a living person walking around; no desire for food or company or joy. There were days where the thought of going outside and ordering a hot dog was crippling. I got mugged twice, was robbed an additional time, I lived with cockroaches and leaf cutter ants for a month, got swine flu (while living in a hostel room with 5 other people… ouch), got fired from my illegal bartending job because the janitor thought I was banging her boyfriend, had my drink drugged, got ripped off, scammed, and harassed, and I cried more times than I can count.
But I also felt more magic and wonder than any other time in my life. I learned that when everything goes to shit and there’s no visible light at the end of the tunnel, a stranger will always come forward and give you a flashlight. I felt seduced by the most complicated city and country I’d ever visited. And I remember one day sitting on the side of the ocean and thinking that in this moment, life is perfect.
So bring it on. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve waited my entire life for this.