Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stressful Sheep Eating

I find it particularly strange or maybe ironic is the better word that when I first began thinking about my trip to Europe my enthusiasm and eagerness about planning the trip of a life time could hardly be contained. Now, I find myself dreading each online excursion for travel planning that quickly went from hypothetical excitement to pure torturous anxiety. The amount of particulars that go into planning a trip that will span 6 countries in a mere 39 days is complicated and headache inducing. Who knew baggage would be the real kicker when booking such cheap airfare or that night trains do not go to every country at affordable prices of say… 30 euros or less? I certainly had no clue in the slightest.
 Between trying to delegate Airbandb bookings (a great resource and awesome way to travel in a group) and finding reasonably priced transportation ( com) to all the countries my naively ambitious mind decided we would conquer in our short jaunt around Europe, the stress of planning left me feeling pretty worn out and stressed about time and money. I was left wondering if this trip would be a success or nightmare that consisted of me, my girlfriend, my sister, and her best friend stranded in some random little French town with no means of transportation, communication, or money fighting over the lone sheep in a nearby field that we would need to slaughter for sustenance. I am pretty scrappy, so I have no doubt I would survive. However, despite my dramatic anxiety things have slowly started coming together.
The first sign of success was our gorgeous color coded calendar (created by the lovely and talented Megan) that began to be filled in with bookings and reservations. Each of us had a task concerning a country or transportation between countries to make the work load more manageable. Megan, my girlfriend and writer extraordinaire, is quite handy with computers and when my head refused to process any more pages of information about hidden fees and how far our hostels were from the airport, she took up the task with due diligence, fingers flying across the keyboard with lightning speed. Suffice to say things started to get done between the two of us. We corresponded with my sister who I lovingly refer to as Seester and her best friend over email concerning our budget and bookings. With only a few minor hiccups (email can be a complicated and impersonal mode of communication, something to always keep in mind when dealing with stressful planning that is already making your head a little wonky) we managed to nail down the details of our trip simultaneously  bonding over our  mutual excitement and stress.
Although much of our planning resulted in aggressive keyboard handling and yelling at the airline and bus websites for not being clear, I know I learned a lot about the different ins and outs of traveling and I gained some much needed perspective for my trip. I find myself feeling reassured that our stress and headaches will all be worth the first breath of fresh air; when we land in our destination, we will have a secure place to stay, a way to get there, and an itinerary that our loved ones back home can follow so they will have a pretty good idea where we are off gallivanting to in case we need any assistance so that we can leave the local sheep alone.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Recipe for Life


I am 22 and ready to take my life in a new direction. I graduated from undergrad this winter and my only set plans for my future are to embrace the independence my youthfulness is privileged with by stretching my wings and traveling to Europe for 39 days. My first big adventure will begin soon and I am ready to throw myself into the moment and cherish each and every part; the good with the bad. With most big things that have cost time, more money than I feel comfortable spending, and my sanity at moments, I am plagued with conflicting emotions of excitement and fear. Both normal and expected feelings, I relish the knowledge of achieving my goal despite my fear and conquering the challenges that have presented themselves during the planning process. This trip's importance is rooted in a need to affirm my agency in my life and to satisfy my thirst to experience God's world and all its beauty.  By diving into my own story through my own narrative I will begin to write my own recipe for Life. I hope to feed my soul by filling it with people, places, plenty of delicious food, laughter, love, and so much more.
This will be my place for thoughts~

The Wild Gooligan in her natural habitat.