I don’t know what it is about buying an international airline ticket but I get all nervous. Perhaps it’s excitement instead of nervousness but my heart surely beats faster. I might even sweat a little. It’s the fact that I’m going solo (again) and that I’m going to a foreign country ALONE. As I wrote in my previous blog post, FEAR always creeps in here and there. I am human after all. Although I have already taken a few international trips on my own, it’s still a little scary when your mind wanders off to the possibilities of what COULD go wrong. This thought brings me to a very vivid memory of when I went skydiving a few years ago. It was a beautiful, sunny day when my friends and I were sitting outside on a picnic bench. We all had to sign a zero liability form that the skydiving company made us sign, and the form was actually the thickness of a small pamphlet almost. I clearly remember those who walked away completely. There was a paragraph or even a whole page where it was easy to imagine that you COULD possibly die that day. The waiver mentioned the following:
…if your parachute doesn’t open, the skydiving company is not liable
…if you break your legs upon landing, again, the company is not liable
(actually, earlier that day someone DID break their legs)
…those who have children should consider the fact that the company
does not offer life insurance to the surviving family members, again,
in case one’s parachute doesn’t open!
There was a very long silence when we were reading and signing the waivers. It truly made everyone think long and hard about our mortality that day so when the very first person walked away, others who wanted to do so followed. You could hear the sighs of relief almost. Those who walked away must have just had kids or they just plain got scared. It’s easy to get scared. The parachutes are stuffed away by human hands after each jump, and when humans are involved, there is room for error. Gulp.
So when I was ready to press the final button earlier today to purchase my airfare, I got a little nervous. It was the travel insurance that they offer you at the end…I might become sick and not make my flight…my luggage could get lost…my flights could be severely delayed. Also, for this particular trip I am taking a volunteer vacation through a company called GlobeAware. Instead of a hotel room all to myself I will be with a roommate as I must stay at the organization’s designated site. So what if my roommate makes loud noises at night (snores, etc.) and she’s dirty or has bad hygiene? Did I mention that I have OCD and that I MUST have things (people, included) super clean? Oh, and I must share a bathroom! Yikes. (Note to self: I’m doing this for a good cause as I’m volunteering to help children in need.)
In 29 days I will be flying to Peru. I am so happy but a little scared. It’s kind of like when I went skydiving. You take a small plane which seemed to take forever to reach the correct altitude for jumping. Then the plane’s door slides open for you. You don’t want to jump and you don’t think you can. You might think, “OMG!” Then, you either just jump or someone pushes you…I honestly don’t remember. All of a sudden you’re in the sky, falling, then flying, and can’t believe you’re doing it! When the parachute opens it is all of a sudden very quiet, peaceful. The majesty and spectacular beauty of the earth is revealed to you on a level that only a few get to experience, and it feels like a dream. Suddenly you realize that you must land without breaking your legs! Somehow you do, and you are glad that you did something that required risk, fear, and your faith in the unknown. This is LIFE after all. I’m ready to go live it, and I hope you are, too…
Wow! Besides touching another
continent I will be crossing off
another goal on my