In the Airport

29 Aug

From this morning…

Sitting in the airport now, it’s 7:47 a.m. and as usual, I’m here too early. It wasn’t easy waking up at 5:45 off of 2 crappy hours of sleep, and now I need to sit around and wait to leave Boston. Waking up that early usually leaves you numb and emotionless; you simply react on instinct and training. And this morning, I feel even number, as I struggle to figure out how I’m already sitting here at my gate, about to leave town for a year.

My stomach had this weird feeling on the ride into the city, not quite easy, but keeping its cool at the same time. It’s a strange feeling to be at the beginning of something huge and not knowing exactly what you’re going to see and do. My legs felt a little weak, my lower lip trembling at I fought back shivers. It was cold when I woke up, but these shivers were of a different breed. This was it, and there was no looking back.

In my experience, I’ve found that life doesn’t sit around for you to accept the change until you’re ready, it just happens. You have to find some way to get through it and keep going. One day it’s the incredulity that you’ve just graduated college. Then you can’t believe you’ve finished your job for the summer. And the next, you’re saying goodbye to your family as they watch you walk through the snake path to security.

As always, I manage to suck at packing. My enormous backpack, all 5500 cubic centimeters of it, came out to 42 lbs, for once under the weight limit, rather than straddling it. My other suitcase flew just under the radar at 52.5 lbs, and I wonder what I could have left out of the bags. I always either over pack or under pack. There is no middle ground with me, even after all of the traveling I’ve done. Add on my carry-on backpack with my lap top and other odds and ends, and it’s nearly on the verge of busting open. The lap top was advertised as “travel sized,” yet it’s clearly too large and heavy to do anything but weigh down the bag. I’ve probably got another 15 or 20 lbs with that one. And to top it off, I have my rather large camera bag for my new digital SLR and it’s accessories, which when slung around my neck, adds at least another 5 lbs to my neck.

All of this stuff better make it to Ecuador so I can stuff it in a closet and never use half of it. One of the most stressful parts of traveling is simply the traveling itself, and it’s even worse when you have a huge backpack on, another backpack on your stomach, a camera bag slung around your neck, while pulling another large suitcase. I might as well have a target on my back. All someone has to do is push me over and I’m done for.

By the afternoon I’ll be in Miami where I’ll meet up with the rest of the WorldTeach group. One more early flight tomorrow morning, and then I’ll be an ex-patriot. From here on out, I am a gringo.

I am now at the hotel in Miami, watching some football, meeting the other volunteers, and getting ready to leave for Quito at 5 a.m.

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