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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


9 days until I leave for London and Ireland.  9 days!

Feels like this trip would never arrive and now I feel like I barely have time to get ready for it.  It feels like I have so much to do that the day that I board the plane and take off, will somehow just continue to exist in that far off place of another day.

I have always loved to travel.  It doesn’t even matter where, it is kind of like asking me to see live music, I don’t ever really care who is playing, or if I know them or what kind of music is being played...I will just always want to go.  Same with travel.  I just always want to go.

Mostly because I love the excitement, the disruption to routine, the drastic change in my day to day life.  I love the unexpectedness of it all.  Never really sure what will happen and how it will land in me.  I also love to see new vistas because it is in this altered perspective that my own interiority is adjusted and changed.

I am not sure if my early life as an Army brat made all this ferrying to and fro what makes my heart sing, or if my inability to really intimate makes leaving and going a better feeling option than staying and relating.  I just know that whatever the cause, I love to go.

While I am a little nervous about all I am leaving behind:  my kids, my parents, my job, my pets, I am so fucking excited to be off into the amazing world solo.  I haven’t taken this long of a trip, alone since I was 19.  That is a long fucking time ago.

While I am excited to take on London and then galavant across Ireland, I am most excited to see who I become on this journey.  I need to make some changes.  And there is nothing better for me to gain a fresh perspective on myself than to leave all the trappings of my daily life behind.  Something happens to me when I leave the comfort zone of all that is familiar and mundane.  I change. In great leaps and bounds and in ways that I could not possibly achieve when I am mired in the grind of daily living.

The thought that I will have 15 days of nothing and no one to be responsible for other than myself is both heady and anxiety producing. I think this trip is somewhat born out of this idea that in less than a year, I will have adult children.  And while I know they will still need me in all the ways, my responsibilities will change drastically and so will my children’s.  We will no longer be just parent and child.  We will become some other versions of ourselves we have never been before, and I am not exactly sure what that looks like. Much like what this trip will bring forth...

So for me, this trip, this peregrination (father-grin-nation - I don’t know exactly what that means but perhaps I am going to find out...) is a sojourn back to myself, the person I was before all the lawyering and all the mothering.  Who is she?  I mean I do not have any belief that I am going to become that person again, and that is a good thing. I was young and impetuous and drunk.  And I am no longer two of those things...

But this voyage is about reclamation.  A seizing of something that has always been mine, but has been placed on a back burner, very far away back burner.  I am so different today than I was back in 1989 when I made a similar trip, but that young girl resides in me is like this with all of us really.  We grow up but never away.  Those younger parts in us always available to us if we make the time for them to express themselves in our current existence.  And I know that for me, I have not made travel, solo travel overseas a priority in quite some time.

For me, with all travel, there is the outward journey which often does not belie the inward journey.  When I leave from LAX in 9 days, I will begin a process of self discovery the likes of which I haven’t seen in so many years.  In fact, I just realized that perhaps a good thing to do would be to go to the attic and retrieve my journals from the last time I was in England and Ireland and take them with me...perhaps that would be an interesting comparison of how very far I have traveled in this life.

And while the inward journey never really requires you to go anywhere at all, sometimes the only access I have ever had to real internal change is through the differing landscapes that only come from foreign soil and terrain.

As it draws nearer, I am so excited!  I am so looking forward to it all...the disruption of routine, the solitariness of it all.  The chance to reconnect with parts of myself that have lie dormant and unexplored for decades.  There is nothing quite like a peregrination that will cause you to grow and change and come to terms with yourself.  As an inveterate traveler, a wanderer of lands and landscapes, my soul has been calling for this for such a long time...

And in 9 days the sojourn shall begin.  And so my soul rejoices, eager to reclaim a part of myself that has been left eviscerated and ensconced in the commitments of marriage, motherhood and maturation.  It has been a long time since I dared to leave for this long, going this far.  And there is a certain level of anxiety brewing beneath my surface.  But I know that all reward comes with risk...and this time, is the right time for all the things I am risking.  Because it is a calling of the soul.  To do this particular trip has been beckoning me for decades.  And finally, it is almost here.

I will return altered from my current state.  And the great excitement comes from having absolutely no idea just how that is going to happen, in what ways and will they be better?  I am never sure if I am devolving or evolving...sometimes I am sure my life looks much more like I am either running in place making no forward movement at all or grossly slipping back into things that I should have outgrown years ago.  Regardless, here I am, doing this life living grand experiment...and I am entirely ready for a new laboratory in which to live this great and fascinating study of myself.

And I am sure, to my core, that the road traveled outside myself is never more grand than the peripatetic nature of my wanderlusting soul...


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