Well it is two months t- two days until I chuck up the deuces and leave the country. Everyone keeps asking me if I am nervous. How I should respond, “is a ringleader nervous to lead the circus?” Answer, no. Okay so my only frame of reference on ringleaders is Water for Elephants but Christoph Waltz doesn’t seem to break a sweat. In all sincerity at this point, no I’m not nervous for my upcoming adventure. I’m ready to put on my best sequins, be a lil wild & crazy, tame my lion of desire to see the world, clown around with pacifists and fellow freaks, and tra(i)peze across borders. In an effort to quell the nerves of anyone who is nervous for me, I have come up with a list of a few reasons why I’m better suited to (not so) aimlessly wonder around the world rather than plant roots in the US.
- I am a loser… of keys and things, but mostly keys. *Within a three week time span this summer* Lock myself out of the house once, shame on me. Lock myself out of the house twice, also shame on me. Lock myself out of the house three times, and my dad says, “here’s four dollars go get two house keys made so Brooke doesn’t have to keep driving you to my office to borrow mine.” Well I got five made and I’m proud to say I still have 3/5ths of those keys! Whilst traveling, I won’t have a home to lock myself out of, ahh the beauty of being a nomad. My losing comes down to the fact that I can never remember where I put things (shocking revelation I know.) Have no fear because I will be carrying all of my possessions in one, neat, 45L backpack, I literally will only have one place to put things, so problem solved!
- I am a whore-a-bull speller. We are talking so bad one year for Thanksgiving, I was tempted to say I was most thankful for synonyms for all the times I couldn’t spell what I wanted to say. I swear I think with a college vocabulary, but if it weren’t for Merriam, Webster, or their Oxfordian counterpart I would be rendered with an arsenal of words akin to a second grade spelling list… SO how does this translate into being a better world traveler? Well there are quite a few languages that seem as if they let a drunk baby decide on a word’s spelling. Take French why does faux have a silent x? (…Honestly that’s a pretty good fake out now that I think about it.) Or the English, they certainly didn’t skimp on the “u’s” when it came to spelling. So for a person like me who, sadly, still spells sadly as sadley, I may have a shot of picking up some bits and bobs of the local language (wherever I may be) as long as I mind my random p’s and q’s.
- Driving is not at the top my special skills list, or the middle… or the bottom. I don’t particularly enjoy driving. In fact, I generally drive with a paralyzing feeling I’m going to be killed in a car accident. I chalk that up to the fact that I’ve been rear-ended three times. The thought of ditching my car and riding in planes, trains, and autobuses for 3/4ths of a year has me grinning from ear to ear.
- My glass is half full. As much I love to travel, my sense of direction is laughably poor. Ehh poor is probably an understatement, abysmal is more like it. For example, my home town is approximately the size of Jordan’s box. Despite the fact that I’m a little (old) lady that’s lived in a shoe(box) my entire life I still manage to get wickedly lost. Lost to the point I’ve had to use my GPS. This being so, I can easily envision myself getting on a bus that takes me halfway passed nowhere instead of all the way to somewhere. Luckily, I am no stranger to u-turns. Now if “u-turn” was a marketable skill, it would be on the top of my resume. I realize at this point I have probably exacerbated nerves, but fear not! I will approach getting lost in a foreign country the same way as I do in my own. First, I accept my misguidance as merely an opportunity for greater adventure. I now have the opportunity to see sites I never planned to. Second, I compliment myself on that by taking the long way, “I simply took the path less traveled by.” Which, according to some, “has made all the difference.” Finally, I will ask someone whose internal compass actually points north, for directions. Bonus now I get to talk to the locals and integrate myself into the host culture quicker. (Don’t worry I have seen Taken and I’m fully aware of stranger danger.) The point I am trying to make is that in I strive to meet all of life’s challenges with an open-mind and positivity. In general, I maintain a subzero chill level.
- I have done this once already… sort of. As I mentioned previously, I studied abroad in England for a semester. During those three magical months I took various trips across international borders which were filled with their fair share of laughs and mishaps. (I’ll save the story of the time I got trapped in Ireland for an extra 48 hours for a rainy day… surprisingly it has nothing to do with rain.)
I’ve had a sip of the transcontinental kool-aid, and beside the fact that it’s served in Celsius, I’m ready to drink some more. So there you have it, that’s the short list.