Travels with Tracy: Then and Now
While I have been traveling in one form or another since I graduated from high school, I took my first ‘big’ trip two years ago. In fact, exactly two years ago today I was readjusting to the combination of a seven hour red-eye flight and a six hour time difference–and a whole new country. I was also writing perfectly awful blog posts like the one linked above. Oh how far I’ve come.
Today I’m leaving on yet another trip–my eighth or ninth in the last year. Or maybe its the tenth or eleventh. I’m getting that blurry kind of ‘oh wait I forgot about…’ mindset that some people encounter when trying to count the number of people they’ve slept with (not that I have that problem…ahem…) And I can’t help but marvel at how different the whole travel planning, preparation, and execution process has become. Two years later, I’m a completely different type of traveler.
Take, for example, the amount of planning and preparation I put into that first trip. After a good six months of research, I set off for London, Paris, and Amsterdam armed with an eighteen-page binder of notes, including an extensive itinerary and detailed walking tour notes that I never used. I just counted the total number of words–words--devoted to notes for the trip I’m leaving on tomorrow. Twenty one words total. And that includes the title of the note document, two times, and four street addresses–so really, six of those words are numbers.
Or how about the now-laughable ritual of packing. For big trip number one, I spent months weighing my luggage options–eventually settling on a Kelty Redwing backpack–and additional weeks perfecting my travel wardrobe. Hell, I even did a packing practice trip. For this trip, I threw a few things in a suitcase this morning; my passport is in my camera bag and the camera battery is charged. I’ve had three glasses of wine at this point, and I leave first thing in the morning, so any further packing will either be done under the influence or in an extreme state of hurry and sleepiness. But whatever. I’ll be fine. I now know how little I need to exist happily, so…whatever.
Two years later, I’m actually able to use the word whatever in relation to my travels. Not once but twice. Wow. What a difference two years–and twelve plus trips–makes. I can’t wait to find out how laid back I become two more years–and twenty four plus trips–from now.
Please note: I have no idea why there is so much space at the bottom of this post, and I don’t have time to fix it or I will miss my bus and thus miss my ship. And that would be bad. So–there’s space at the bottom. Whatever! I’m off!