It’s just under two months until I take off for Stockholm. I have plans to give notice to work on Monday so it’s about to get pretty real. The anticipation is overwhelming. 

As I sit on BART on one of many rides from the East Bay to SF over the next two months, I thought it would be fun to list some things I’m most excited about:

  1. The constant sense of adventure. At the risk of describing a “first world problem”, sounding ungrateful or unappreciative of how good I have it, how privelidged I am to live in America, have a steady good-paying job, loving family, friends, natural athletic ability (ha)…life can still find a way of getting cyclical, stagnant, unfulfilled. I’m excited to have an adventure, find some excitement, live on the edge a bit (safely, of course). 
  2. Learning the public transportation systems in various cities. In my past travels I’ve found I get a lot of joy out of figuring out how to get around. From the London Tube, the S-Bahn in Berlin, or the NYC Subway, I just love the feeling of figuring it out.
  3. Slovenia and Vietnam. No particular reason, these places just intrigue me and I can’t wait to see them.
  4. Writing! I’ve never written for fun before and I think I’m going to like it. I’m hoping to make this more than just a documentation of where I went and what I saw, but the experiences that I have and the lessons I learn. I’m excited to see what I come up with! 
  5. Scandinavian pastries…and all the other amazing foods along the way. No explanation really needed there.
  6. Meeting people from all over the world. Those that know me well know I’m not one to force myself into meeting new people. I’m excited to be forced out of my comfort zone and learn how to connect with people from all over the world, hearing their stories, and gaining new perspectives.

How about some things I’m most nervous about:

  1. Loneliness. I’m independent by nature. Watch our home videos and you’ll see me quietly playing with my dolls while my brother talks the camera’s ear off. But our lives are fueled by human interaction, and we thrive on relationships. Even if I’m constantly talking to people along the way, I recognize that there will be times I’ll just want someone to know me, and no one will.
  2. What do I do with myself today, tomorrow, next week? I’m taking a very loose itinerary approach, and anyone who knows me or has been on a trip with me knows that this will be a challenge.
  3. What will I do when this is over? I’m worried I won’t be able to stop thinking about what I’ll do when I get back. Will I go back to accounting? Will I find a new industry I’m passionate about? Will I fall in love with a city and decide to stay? Who knows. But I don’t want to think about it. At least not in the beginning. I hope I’m able to allow myself that freedom.
  4. Going unchanged. I know this is an unrealistic fear, but I fear this adventure will end, and I’ll come back, and life will resume with no noticeable difference. This is not to say I’m unhappy, or that I myself want to change. I guess I’m just hoping for an improved outlook on life. A better perspective.
  5. Bugs. Seriously, I’m afraid of the bugs in Asia. Just last night I made my brother kill a spider for me.

19 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. robinlf23gmailcom

    You amaze me, daughter of mine! I love you, I’m so proud of you, and I get it….but please don’t change too much!

  2. jordyn51200

    Wow! This sounds truly like a wonderful journey full of growth in all ways! Please do me one thing with your concern list. Enjoy the journey, forget right now about the destination and just take it all in. Already you’ve proved what character you have. Leaving everyone and everything that is familiar and taking a LEAP OF FAITH-all that is unknown and unexpected. And one last thing-I have a lot more free time than I used to so if you could stand a little dose of Aunt Debbie and you want to explore anything foodie related count me in. I would love to come visit you.

    I’ll be thinking of you constantly. Love you so much and incredibly proud of you.
    XO Aunt Debbie

  3. Falafelover

    You are amazing, Lil Raspberry! So excited for you and your adventures to come. So inspirational! Love that you’re keeping this blog too and can’t wait to follow along in your journey. Will be thinking about you… Bon voyage!!
    (Also, I feel you on the bugs.;)

  4. davewittrockllpcom

    You will get into a rhythm and find that your anticipation of adventure is underestimated and your trepidation is unfounded, well, except for the bugs, haha. You will meet people every day and some will be friends for a long time. When in doubt, go for it during your travels, but as an old man in Laos once told us, ‘you can do anything you want here, but think about it first’. Can’t wait to see your posts. Dave
    ps Slovenia and Viet Nam are two of my top three favorite countries. The third? Cuba !

  5. Emily, we are so excited for you. I did a long journey when I was 22. It laid a foundation for my outlook on life. I came away with a better appreciation for all cultures and a better understanding of who the hell I was. Do it. Do it. Do it! Relish each adventure and misadventure. You will be even more valuable to any firm you choose to work for when you return.

    And also remember that you are your parents’ hearts out there. They know this is a great thing you are doing, yet they worry about you and yearn for your safe return. I did not get this until I had children of my own. I vagabonded several times and did not realize the angst my parents may have had.

    We both wish you the best. We are looking forward to travel stories when you return.

  6. arnoldlim1

    Very happy for you, Em! Reading your list brought back memories of traveling and adventuring in Switzerland back in the mid 90s. That was right before the age of email and internet, so I recall actually writing letters to my family and making trips to the post office, and waiting 2 weeks for their reply. Long distance telephone calls were expensive, so I could only afford to call my family or friends once a week, and talk for 10 minutes!

    We’re certainly going to miss our star point guard 🙂

    1. Thanks Arnold! I can’t image traveling without internet, will be glad to be able to continue texting and keeping up with my family and friends via social media!

      And I will certainly miss basketball! Hoping to find some pickup games along the way.

  7. Coralie Ginsburg

    I am in awe at your courage and self-awareness!
    I shall follow you and imagine the sights, sounds and smells that you will experience. It will be a trip for me too!
    I wish you joy and pleasure, good health and safety.
    Have a wonderful time!
    Much love, Corie

  8. effrance

    Bugs of the world, beware, Emily Beth is on the loose! You will have an incredible adventure, cannot wait to follow you. Bon voyage xxoo

  9. shainawithad

    I am so excited for you! I am living through you so remember:
    1. Do it for the story!
    2. Stay safe though
    3. Take pics so that I can pretend I am seeing what you are seeing
    4. Eats lots of amazing food for me (take pics of this as well, so that I don’t have to have the calories, hehe)
    5. Dance when you can! I know, I know, that’s more of a me thing but again, I am living through you.
    6. write when you can, even if it’s just a word! We will read it!
    7. Have lots of good 7’s along the journey (wink!)

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