The Big Week
The countdown had begun. I was less than a week away from the biggest, most extraordinary move of my life to date. Previously, that title had been held by my spontaneous move to Seattle, but I'll get into that later (hint hint, whole post coming). But this.. this was everything I had been dreaming of and working towards for the past three years. I had, up until this massive, unforgettable decision, never made a leap quite like this before.
Obviously, I was over-the-moon elated and ready to jump abroad. I have had a multitude of reasons for my deep desire to do so. Some very political (not super pleased at the state of affairs in my home country right now, but this is not a political post), most massively educational (uh, hello? Greatest historical and cultural lessons all around me, wherever I land), all deeply spiritual (yeah, another post), and throw in a great big dash of any and every thrilling adventure I've found myself in and making it as memorable as I absolutely humanly can, and I give you the ultimate life-altering experience I could ever conjure.
Of course, as with a life-change as monumental as this, it does NOT happen overnight. Queue years of throwing my entire heart, mind, soul, and body into manifesting it into reality. And no, easy will absolutely never be a word I use to describe anything but the decision to commit to it. Initially, it terrified the hell out of me. To be perfectly honest, it still does. But, I am a HUGE believer in taking leaps of faith, especially with end results as rewarding as this. And so, the dream has slowly become my only reality.
A few months before the big leap, it was time to make the most exciting purchases: THE PLANE TICKETS! Yo, I don't think there's a single word in the English dictionary that could possibly describe how I felt purchasing each ticket. Try a multitude of them and I think you'll be on the right track. I knew I wanted to plan to squeeze as much fun as possible into it, and I had become a pro at watching flights like a hawk for the best deals, and lo and behold, I managed to secure some sweet seats making stops in popular layover destinations such as NY, London, and finally Venice (about an hour from where I am currently typing this post). I scored all three trips for the ridiculously low price of $388-for the whole thing. (Pro-tip: When you're gearing up for a long flight abroad, check out where your layovers are. Sometimes you can get lucky enough to snag one-way flights in-between stops for a whole lot cheaper, directly from the airline itself, AND you get a sweet little trip in between each destination. I check Skyscanner CONSTANTLY when looking up flight deals).
If you think that's amazing, I ALSO got in contact with a long-time friend of mine (11 years!!!) who I was dying to finally meet in person, who not only picked me up from the airport in NY, but also invited me to crash at his place for the weekend in Connecticut (TWO STATES IN ONE WEEKEND, THANKS DJ)!
Jumping back to countdown week, and jumping in and out of nerves, double, triple, and quadruple checking all my lists and making any and all last minute preparations I could possibly think of as I anticipated the total unknown, and the butterflies were in full effect. Three whole years of investing my all into this life I had dreamed of, and I was ready.
The Big Day came, and I'm going to tell you that day was as real and surreal at the exact same time as I hadn't even imagined. As I gave my dad one last hug before braving the airport in my Scooby-Doo onesie (very poetic, and forever my favorite adventure pajamas), and pushed through all the butterflies, I just felt this overwhelming sense of awe at the fulfilling feeling that overwhelmed me. It had seemed for the past three years that this day would never happen, and then just like that, I blinked, and there it was. And here I am. I'm living my dream. My manifestations. Coming at you (practically live) from the beautiful country of Italy, in my Darling Clementine's (BFF Kelsey) home, feeling blessed beyond measure that I have the privilege and opportunity to make this into a reality.
If you take anything away from my stories at all, underneath all of the thrills, drawbacks, and everything else that makes this roller coaster ride into what it is, my hope is that it will be to give you inspiration to make your life extraordinary. Whether I invoke inspiration to pursue a life of travel like myself, or to be legendary in whatever ignites your soul on fire, make it as authentically and magically you as your wildest dreams can imagine.