A Travellerspoint blog


Hasta luego Seattle, I love you!

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see specks dispersing? It's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."-Jack Kerouac


It is hard to put into words how fortunate I am. I am so full of love for my family, friends and the emerald city I have called home most of my life. It is with this beautiful foundation I am boarding the plane for South America.

This journey started as an idea, stirred up while pouring over grad-school textbooks and glasses of study wine. I found myself refreshing The Lonely Planet website, and picturing myself anywhere other than in my Queen Anne basement. Instead of researching beaches and resorts, I was drawn to the romantic dirt roads and bright port cities of South America. I wanted passion, grit and something to challenge my ability to not only survive, but to live. This whim turned into a plan when I announced to my family "I am going to leave and go to South America." Half testing the waters, met with surprise and support, these words concreted my daydream into a resolution. Slowly, I started to tell close friends, realizing that with each acknowledgement, my leaving became real. I sold my car, donated my belongings, quit a job I loved, packed a backpack, and now here I am, less than 12 hours away from my departure.

During the past year of anticipation, preparation and contemplation, I feel like I have ran through a gauntlet of emotions. I have felt my heart being pulled by wanderlust, nomad-ism and excitement, but also by sadness, fear and denial of what I was "giving up". Now, as the day is here, I feel like I have gone full circle. What means the most I will carry with me, and this realization gives me fortitude and strength. I now know that the friendships I have made cannot be severed by miles or time. What fits in my backpack will let me survive, but what I am carrying in my heart will give me life. I am full of love, excitement and a sense of adventure. I am ready.

Now, onward!

Posted by misskailyn 08:04 Archived in USA Tagged travel adventure friends south family love america leaving backpacking goodbye Comments (3)

The Night Before

I said, "Do you speak-a my language?" He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich -Men At Work

View People to People Volunteer Trip on misskailyn's travel map.

I stood over my bed and lovingly gazed down at the disheveled piece of baggage I would be bringing with me. The small, black, backpackers bag had straps and pockets littering its cushioned sides. It was used, loved, sold and signified my freedom. I first saw it in a second-hand travel store in the ocean port of Ballard. In its small outer pocket I found a crumpled ticket for the Euro Rail. It made me smile to think that this bag had traveled around the world and found itself in the same part of town as me. In fact, in the exact same spot as me. With the help of someone in the store, I lifted it from the shelf and shuffled it onto my back. It fit my height-challenged frame of 5 foot 3 perfectly, so I bought it. In September it will house everything I own. But not yet. Now, it will follow me to the Land Down Under.

Tomorrow morning I will be heading off to the Seattle International Airport to meet 43 anxious 5th and 6th graders. Together, we will be embarking on a whirlwind tour of Australia's east coast. I am full of nerves at this tremendous responsibility (how do these parents all trust me to do this?!) and am extremely excited for the adventure.

My bag was packed, unpacked, repacked, tossed, turned, emptied and stuffed. I removed pants, shirts, shorts and dresses. I replaced them with rolled-up tank tops, coats, t-shirts and skirts. Converters, check. Chargers, check. Band aids, check. Wish me luck!

Posted by misskailyn 17:54 Archived in USA Tagged australia down packing bag bags luggage under Comments (2)

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