I've been struggling to find a way to put into words how I've been feeling about taking this big trip. It's an absolute dream come true. People call this type of thing a "bucket list item" but I truly hate the term. I don't ever plan to kick the bucket anyway but the things I want to do have nothing to do with dying. They have everything to do with living.
My entire life I've had wanderlust. I have always had books and calendars and photos of exotic places I couldn't wait to visit. As a kid I studied Italy and Greece for fun. I studied tropical islands as a hobby. And I have always dreamed of seeing this great country I love so much in person not just in movies. Truth be told, I mapped out and planned every step of this cross country trip 5 years ago. I just never thought I would have th courage to go.
Having autoimmune diseases seems like an uphill battle almost all the time. I watch other people I know just give up on their dreams because they think they are limited. I refuse to believe that. I just do things on my own terms and within my own limits.
The problem is, I have terrible anxiety issues that limit me greatly. They can strike any time, any place, and for any reason. But they have always especially been associated with travel. Until I met Chris I couldn't take even short trips without coming unglued. In our time together I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. I yearn for the next great adventure before our last even ends.
This Gandalf quote has been hanging in my home for a year and a half. "The world is not in your books and maps, it is out there." It hangs framed by my front door to remind me to stop living in the world where I wish to adventure but am to scared to and instead get out and go.
So here I am on the brink of the biggest trip I've ever taken, a truly grand adventure. I am thrilled but yet also terrified. I know there will be hurdles at times and things won't always go as planned. I'm hoping that seeing the places I've dreamed of all my life will help cushion any of those blows and that having 5 weeks to wander the open road will help me calm down and learn a new kind of peace. Off we go...