I have officially made it to hump-day of my departure week, and emotions are in full swing! I have had three excruciatingly tough good-byes, between my brother, best friend, and brother in law coupled with many other close family and friends. If you can loose weight from water released via tears, I may actually be to my target weight by departure after all.
What time I have that is not being spent seeking out last minute purchases I still need or trying desperately to find movies and music I can put on my external hard drive without breaking the bank, is spent in an activity that I have consistently procrastinated in my past…packing. And while my track record of “morning of throwing the things I think I need in a bag” is actually near perfect, for this 27 month adventure, I am bringing in the big guns. aka, mom and dad.
My dad exemplifies the perfect puzzle packer, with outstanding rolling and folding capabilities and the tetris mind to make it all fit. My mother is the queen of organization and planning, with attention to detail and list making skills to rival no other. So, Mom and Dad plus one hiking backpack, one roller bag and a personal item and you have all the needed elements to actually do this thing! The added trick to the game, is that one bag, you actually leave in storage during the first three months of training. So not only are you trying to work weight vs volume to fill your limited bags, but you also have to try and place items/clothing that will be needed vs items you can do without until you reach your permanent residence. And so the game continues, and I count myself lucky to have them on my team.
This process has been so unique thus far. It is a strange thing to make plans to be apart from the people you love for so long. It is strange to depart someone who has always been a quick FaceTime away, or quick drive down the road, and to not know when, how often, or how you will be able to communicate. It is strange to buy taco seasoning for the inevitable nights abroad when you are missing home and mixing that into your typical meal will help get you through the tough night.
But in a sea of strange, new beginnings and firsts, I can finally feel a flame that has dwindled in me find new light and energy. I can feel my spirit of adventure intensify as I day dream about the new experience before me. My pulse quickens when I imagine the projects I would like to put in place and the service I will be able to provide for those in need. My heart is full knowing the love and support from the US that I will carry over with me and that I hope to share with those I meet in my new world.
Until then, its hugs, packing, and anticipation. I can’t believe its 4 days away…