Travel

The Butterflies

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The more I travel, the less anticipation I seem to feel leading up to my trips. I mean, I still have that countdown app on my phone, and check in on it from time to time, but I don’t spend the weeks and days before my next adventure plotting and planning and stressing and organizing. It’s more like, the morning of my flight, I scramble to check all the items off my virtual to do list, and although I seem to always be rushing in the last moments, never leaving myself extra time, it still all comes together rather effortlessly.

Run an errand or two. Call the bank. I pack that day. Sometimes, maybe, the evening before, but usually that last night is just spent pulling out my suitcase and opening on my bedroom floor before climbing into my big comfy bed and tuning into Netflix. That’s as far as I ever seem to get, even with the best intentions. But really, I basically pack for a living (I’m a flight attendant for those that don’t follow my blogs religiously…) so I don’t find it stressful at all. I wake up, have a shower (always have to look my best for flights as I’m almost always flying standby) and work my way through, rack after rack, drawer after drawer, adding items into the oversized suitcase that I usually fill to capacity, and subsequently have to empty slightly at the check in counter when my bag weighs in over 50lbs.

What can I say, I’m a girl. And we like options. How am I to know what I’m gonna feel like wearing next Friday to happy hour? What if my tan lines are bad and I need to align my straps of my sundress to the ones of my bathing suit? Or what if I have a sunburn because I always forget to pack sunscreen and therefore I need something loose and comfortable to wear? Or if I get homesick and want to bum around in my favorite t-shirt being completely unproductive? Perhaps I’ll keep my promise to myself to run 3x a week, so I’d better pack enough fitness clothes. And socks for my runners… enough pairs to last me a little while in case I don’t have access to laundry. You just never know. And this is my first go at retirement, although temporary, so I need to be prepared for whatever fashion this adventure might inspire.

And that is my drawn out justification for my two large suitcases….

Regardless of how seamless and natural it feels preparing for the trip, when I’m sitting in the airport, my bags safely checked and my iPod plugged into my ear belting out whatever soundtrack I’ve carefully selected to accompany the initial moments of my trip, I get butterflies. That’s when the anticipation hits, full force. I swear I get butterflies worse than everyone else, or maybe I’m just being dramatic. But at times, I swear it actually hurts me. And I can envision it, too. I picture myself, sitting in the corner near the window, styled hair, calm expression, crossed legs and just a collage of color fluttering about my abdomen. You know, like the Activia commercials. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to go. You know, I don’t really know what it means. Why I get them like that. I suppose I’m always a bit scared, but the good kind of scared. And excited. And coming, once again, face to face with the realization that I’m heading out, leaving behind my home. My safe haven. My comfort zone. But I heard somewhere that that’s where the magic happens. And I couldn’t agree more.

This time, it’s to somewhere familiar. I’ve been to Puerto Vallarta before. And. Mexico many many times. I even know people there. But I’m going alone. And will endeavour to master some balance of living in paradise, immersed in culture, forced to practice another language while working remotely. Let’s see if this can be done.

And if it can, if this turns out to be as perfect a situation as I imagine it to be, who knows what’s next for me. Maybe I won’t be coming home. Or, perhaps more realistically, maybe this will lead to a major purchase south of the border, and to this girl becoming one of the youngest snowbirds Alberta has ever known.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, I have to get there.

I think I’ll have a glass of wine. Maybe if I get the butterflies drunk, they’ll calm the hell down.

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