So, sometimes your friend calls you to ask, “Do you want to go to Ireland…NEXT WEEK?” And you hear yourself saying “Yes!” Even though I’m a planner. Guys, I plan. It’s what I do. Half of the fun of travel, for me, is researching and checking out blogs and dreaming about all the shenanigans that await. That being said, once in-country, I’m pretty open to serendipity and have no need to follow any of the plans. They’re more a security blanket, there in case we need them. And yet, there I was, frantically coordinating with my work and my social calendar and finding a dog-sitter, because we were going to leave in SIX DAYS! WTF?!? Who does that? Lizz and I do, apparently. In addition to being a planner, I suffer from Over-Active-Safety-Monitor-Syndrome (OASMS). Those of us afflicted with OASMS have a hard time shutting down that constantly worrying inner voice, concerned about practicality and responsibility and the future and looking both ways before you cross the street. (Honestly though, EVERYONE should look both ways before you cross the street. I mean, as the kids were recently saying, YOLO, so be precious with your life. It’s the only one you get. Or am I using that wrong? *laughs*). But maybe it’s not a bad thing to take that leap once in awhile, and let worrying about the practical busyness of tomorrow wait for a different day. Then I promptly had the first of many typical Tracy panic attacks, right after we booked out flight. “What if my passport is missing?” I mean, guys, WHAT IF?!? Perhaps I was burgled (that word always makes me laugh) and they somehow only stole my passport. Or what if I, for the first time in my 18 years of having a passport, didn’t put it in a secure place? *hyperventilates* For those on the edge of your seats, rest assured. It was still safely locked away. We’re good to go.
I HAVE SO MUCH LAUNDRY TO DO! I mean, holy crap. It’s cold and rainy in Ireland in winter, so that means lots of layers (like home in Seattle). But that will take up more packing space/require more care in choosing what items to bring, and then finding those items and making sure they’re laundered because I leave in 3 frickin’ days. *heart attack* And, of course, because I didn’t know I’d be taking an international trip at the last minute, I’ve got events every single day between when we got our tickets Thursday and when we leave at the butt crack of dawn on Tuesday. (including SUPERBOWL on Sunday. Sea-HAWKS! Sea-HAWKS!) My heart may burst with excitement.
Back to how this is all Mark Twain’s fault. (Actually, I never verified the source of this quote. And the internet being what it is, this could totally be the words of someone else). Last week a pal shared the following quote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
That sentiment had been rolling around and percolating in my brain for a few days. So when adventure called (literally a phone call saying “Wanna have an adventure?”) I said Yes. I might have actually said “hell yes” of “f*ck yeah,” in fact. And I don’t regret a thing! (Well, I maybe regret the ridiculously long/cumbersome flight path we’re taking, because it’s a mileage-booked trip. But I don’t regret it enough to take a longhaul international flight solo and just wait for my friend to meet me there. Where’s the fun in that?!?).
And so, here I am, about to sail away from the safe harbour, practically vibrating with excitement and disbelief and shock and so much joy. (But not until my Seahawks take down the Patriots on Sunday!!)