Travel Stories

Leaving on a jet plane

        When I was a young girl in high school fresh from my first heartbreak, I began to see freedom as synonymous with leaving. Leaving my house, my hometown, and friends felt like a necessary next step in living life to the fullest. It didn’t really matter that I was using college as an excuse to escape and break into adult life; I eagerly compared and contrasted universities from New York to Chicago, scribbling pros and cons lists furiously, excitedly reading the stack of guidebooks on my nightstand like some might peruse romance novels. I would curiously soak up every detail, memorizing subway lines and art museums, googling current weather forecasts and planning my arrival.
       Many years later I’ve yet to outgrow my habit of collecting travel guides filled with photographs of far-away places and my tendency to scrutinize Google maps might border on obsessive. Sometimes, this restless energy can make it hard for me to focus.  The more I look at the more I want to see, do, experience. Since my return from Ecuador I’ve been trying to channel this vague sense of nervous wanderlust into a plan. Not so much for my own peace of mind, but to somewhat dissuade my friends and family from thinking I’ve completely lost my mind. This week I’ve been gaining inspiration and momentum by reading A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins, and listening to “Leaving” by Josh Ritter. The icing on the cake was receiving my Klamath 68 Liter backpack in the mail on Saturday. I won’t lie, I felt pretty awesome stuffing it with pillows and parading around the house with it. Trying on my backpack and thinking of the supplies I’ll need for my journey made it seem more real.
      So far this is what I know: I will be quitting my job in 2 months (or roughly four paychecks from now). I hope to have $20,000 in the bank, $5,000 of which I hope to set aside for my return to “the real world” just in case that happens (although I really hope it doesn’t)! Today, after talking with my favorite travel buddy I sat down with a calendar and pencil and outlined a few more details. I am sharing my rough itinerary with you to hear your input, feedback, advice, etc. Feel free to laugh, mock, or guffaw but I hope that you will also share in the excitement I feel at beginning new adventures. After all, I hope to share them with you!

Tentative Travel Plan
Quit my job and fly to Mexico traveling through Oaxaca, San Cristobal, Tulum, and Cancun

Meet my friend in Cancun and fly to Cuba.

Spend time with friends in Florida
Spend some time hiking the Appalachian trail in TN, GA, or North Virginia.
Attend the Wakarusa festival in Arkansas

Visit family in Utah, spend some time hiking the National Parks
Attend the Telluride festival

Fly to Paris for my birthday
Spend several months traveling throughout France, learning the language and taking short trips to Spain, Morocco, etc.
Take a few weeks and visit a friend in Ghana to volunteer with a clean water project?

Visit Jordan, Israel, and Turkey

Travel to Southeast Asia, spending time in Thailand and neighboring countries.

Have you traveled to any of these countries? Do you think my itinerary is impossible? optimistic? exciting? ridiculous? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!


*Photo taken from Google images. I hope to upload my own pictures of my backpack soon! Done!

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