What a long journey….I left the U.S. from Boston on August 1st-first leg from Boston to Paris. Upon arriving to the airport I felt overwhelmed with emotion. I said goodbye to my Dad and headed into the airport with my mom and 100 plus pounds of luggage.
Side Note: For those of you wondering WTF I have 100 pounds of luggage for….this is how I justified that one to myself: I would be leaving one suitcase behind in India which included all my business professional clothes, etc. (approx. 50 pounds worth) and needing my 70L backpack (another 40 or so pounds worth) for the remainder of my travels. I attempted to fit everything into a smaller pack and it just “wasn’t possible”-try not to judge me. I have a friend who recently traveled around Thailand for a month with a single change of clothes and a backpack-that was just far too ambitious for me. My thoughts on this…it’s interesting, my attachment to this stuff…The fear and worry that I won’t have what I need on my trip and won’t have anywhere to get it so I pack all of the possible comforts I may need along the way. It’s silly, really, to think that I can’t get sunscreen or shampoo or makeup or socks etc. in another country (as if only the U.S. has these things, ha!…) but I’ve noticed that when taking a big plunge into a new adventure, I tend to want to hold on tightly to the comforts of the “stuff” that I know and am comfortable with since everything else is so uncertain and new. So…all 100 pounds of that stuff came along for leg 1 of the journey.
Back to the story: when we entered the airport, there was a line of about 2000 people waiting to check baggage at the Delta counter….I’m not over exaggerating. I went to the front of the line and asked the state trooper if I need to wait in the line if I had already checked in and he said yes but promptly alerted me that he would allow me to cut the line. I was planning to have my mom wait with my bags while I went to the bathroom (for those of you that know me well, that’s not surprise that I had to pee, I always have to pee) but this was an offer I couldn’t pass up so I said a very abbreviated goodbye to my mom (which was probably better for her anyways-goodbyes are always hard for us) and I headed into the line with my 100 pounds. Even though I was shuttled to the front of the line, the bag drop line still took an hour and then there was security….Finally, about 2 hours later, I got to my terminal area which was jam packed with people. I wanted a glass of wine badly to relax before my 8 hour flight and walked around to the 4 places in the terminal near and far….every single one of them was over flowing with people and a long line out the door of other people that were craving the same. No glass of wine for me. I was feeling all the feels-overwhelmed, excited, nervous, fearful, anxious, sad, happy, grateful…I sat down at the gate and my tears flowed. It felt like a release of the last 9 months of endings, goodbyes, moving, packing, preparing….the day was here to start this long awaited adventure-I had arrived to the moment.
I was also sad because I paid 70 dollars for an exit row seat only to learn later that the seat was right next to the bathroom and that I was unable to change it (helpful for the always having to pee situation but not so much for my sensory experience on the flight). Lovely. But little did I know, the universe was conspiring to have me meet Marciano. Marciano was my Parisian seat mate (who also tried to change his seat and was unsuccessful). I entered into my seat and he was already seated in the window seat. We exchanged smiles and pleasantries while I quickly arranged my things for the flight. When I sat down, we started chatting about where we were coming from and going to-the normal pleasantries of a quick introduction to the person you will sit next to (and hopefully sleep next to) for the next 8 hours. But neither of those ended up being the case-the pleasantries turned into 3 hours of amazing conversation. We talked about our jobs, the world, politics, relationships, love, parenting, health…you name it, we talked about it. The conversation came easily and was so organic. Side note: I had ice cream with 2 of my girl friends the night before I left and we were talking about how we deeply dislike talking to people on airplanes. Well, this definitely changed my prior opinions on that subject. It was a signal to me from the universe that things are changing…that I am right where I am supposed to be and that this trip will open windows and doors for me to meet people from other walks of life and areas of the world who see the world similarly and differently, people who will deepen and challenge my perspective and enrich my life with conversations and experiences.
I was feeling revived and energized by this experience. Good thing because the seat was terribly uncomfortable and I was not able to sleep for more than a few minutes here and there. We landed in the early morning in Paris, exchanged contacts with future plans to maybe reconnect later in my journey or at least exchange email updates about the unfolding of our life (he and his long term girlfriend, Ann, are quitting their jobs and moving to Thailand to own a guest house-umm, how good does that sound!).
I had a brief layover in Paris and was headed to Mumbai. I grabbed a coffee and stretched out in the airport a bit to gear up for the next leg of the journey-9 hours. I met a young man over a shared need for a computer charger on this layover and we shared a brief conversation about living in the U.S. He was coming back to visit his family in Mumbai after having lived in Washington D.C. for the year (and Italy for the year before that). I was thinking how brave one must be to take the plunge on those adventures-moving to a new country alone (never mind twice in 2 years)! It’s so cool to meet people like this-it is a solid reminder when I feel scared-if they can move to another country and thrive, I can go on this trip and thrive too!
As I posted my blog and invited others to follow along, I received a lot of positive feedback and many notes that people feel that I am acting “brave” by taking this journey. I’ve never really seen myself as brave but these comments really resonated with me and made me think a lot about my own fears. The truth is, I am fearful as I move into this journey. I am not blind to the risks of traveling alone in “foreign” countries. But I want to lead my life from a place of courage to overcome those fears. There has never been a time in my life when I have faced a fear head on that I have regretted it. After all, even though I am far away from my home and the comforts of familiarity, we are all human beings whether in Massachusetts or India or Thailand or Vietnam…Whether we speak the same language or have the same cultural beliefs, we are all the same more than we are different. We all crave the same things-love, respect, acceptance, kindness, comfort, security, safety, prosperity success, etc. When I feel scared or lonely, I try to remind myself that I am not ever really alone. I try to continue to have the courage to see the similarities rather than the differences between us. Because the similarities that we all have as a species are really where the possibility for something beautiful lies. Whether it’s a smile, glance, or a word shared, even when brief, the connection is palpable. It is an acknowledgement of a shared experience as a simple human living together on this beautiful planet.
Namaste ya’ll! I am so grateful to share this journey with all of you-thanks for following along.
Sending lots of love from India!
Wrapping my arms around you with love and courage! Experience some of the wonder and awe for me XOXOXO
I am living vicariously through you❤️🐾🐾
Oh dear Lindsay. You have never been bashful about Truth. And that’s what I love about you- your honesty! Let me tell you, everyone has fears!! At least you are trying to resolve it – takes a lot of courage- deserves Kudos!
How long are you in India?
♥️Loving every pic and word. U were adorable working with us in ep lab and beautiful, kind, adventurous and real now! Keep on Girl! So proud of your Bravery and curiosity and need to make this world better!
this picture is precious and hilarious at the same time! much love Ko!
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