As I sit in my tiny apartment listening to the rain and drinking a cup of coffee, I’m marveling, with an increasingly familiar combination of excitement and stress, that Jess and I leave on our six week sojourn in less than a month. In a little over three weeks, we’ll land in Reykjavik, Iceland with nothing but the bags on our backs and each other.
The initial idea for this trip bubbled up in my brain during a boozy brainstorming session on a flight to San Francisco last December for the Christmas holiday. I was in the process of healing from the heartbreak of a recently failed relationship and still reeling from a work decision I’d agonized over for months. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and welcomed a short escape from my life in Nashville. Sad and confused, I also felt alive and free, and determined to embrace the newfound sense of freedom and channel it into an experience outside of my own head. For the next few hours, I noodled over the thought of what I would do.
I thought about the things I’d always wanted to do but had kept myself from doing for various reasons, about the restraints, both mental and physical, that I’d put on myself for so long, about the people I knew and admired who did things without questioning themselves so much. I wanted to be one of those people, and now was the time. Like many before me in similar states of mind, an extended trip in a far off place seemed the most obvious of adventures to force myself out of my comfort zone and kick the rut I’d been in for months.
For the next few days, I thought about a solo trip. On Christmas day I texted Jess:
Alot has changed for us both in the six months since that first conversation, including our visions of and intentions for our lives when we get back. What hasn’t changed is the certainty of the memories we’ll make, the places we’ll see and the people we’ll meet, and how excited we are to be taking this trip together while keeping our hearts and minds open and welcoming the unexpected.
-Hil : )