So, it looks like I’m actually going to pull off this whole three continents in eight months thing.
Have I told you about this little plan of mine yet? It started out as a matter of circumstance, really. My brother Benjamin was moving to Scotland – but just for a semester. My friends Amruta and Sarah were moving to India – but just for half the year. And my brother Jacob was moving to Ecuador – but it wasn’t clear how long he was staying.
I didn’t want to pass up the chance to visit some of my nearest and dearest in the most far-flung of locales, but the timeline was pretty tight. It wasn’t clear that my bank account, allotment of vacation days or nerves could stomach it. But I really wanted to give it a go – partly, I’ll admit, just to prove I could do it.
I started out strong – eagerly heading to Scotland in the fall and even sneaking in an extra stop in Rome. I devoted an entire paycheck to my flight to Delhi, booking back in September so I couldn’t chicken out.
And I did end up going, as you might recall.
But when I got home? I was pretty fucking tired. Also, injured.
And I didn’t have just India to blame. Somewhere in between the cold, gray backdrop of the Scottish countryside and the mortification of seeing my father crooning along to Marvin Gaye in a pub and the mortification of seeing my brother get all touchy-feely with his girlfriend and the stitches and the canceled flights, I lost my motivation to complete that third, South American leg.
And I lost the financial backing too. India came in a tad over-budget and Scotland taught me that the only thing capable of spoiling a free vacation was spending said free vacation with your parents. (Sorry, Mom.)
It was looking like my dreams of visiting Jake in Ecuador were going to have to be replaced with dreams of visiting Jake in….Wisconsin. Where he’s probably attending grad school next year. Not exactly the same.
But then, a funny thing happened. Out of nowhere, I (re-)caught the travel bug. Bad. One minute, I was kissing the ground at Newark airport, and the next, I was desperate for another stamp on my passport. (I blame all that snow.)
So, I did the logical thing: spent some quality time on Kayak and unearthed a pretty sweet flight (albeit on a semi-sketchy Costa Rican airline) to Quito. Then I convinced my dear friend Chelsea, a Brooklyn hipster of the highest order, to come with me – because if nothing else, India taught me this: I’m just not made for traveling alone in developing countries.
I guess we could find out that I’m just not made for traveling in developing countries, period. But I’ll never know unless I go, right?