WOOPAH to Travel – Central America

I’ll say it. One of my guilty pleasures in life, among crossword puzzles, big chunky jewelry and cream cheese on crackers, is airports. I just love ’em. I’m the girl you find strolling down the wide corridors, seemingly lost in la-la land, but really walking in awe. I say awe because if you ever notice, there are only two types of people in airports; those that have absolutely no time to spare and those that are trying to kill time like it’s their job. I love this, this two sided metaphorical view of life. This is exactly where I will find myself in three days. At the airport. Scratch that, at numerous airports. For numerous hours. And I’m joining the time killers team.

I’m about to begin my month-long first solo trip, destination being Central America. I finally bought my ticket once I caught myself staring at my world map in a daze of mid-paper writing. Numerous times. I finish up with college in May, with some degree in ‘international studies’, whatever THAT means, and that May 14th date is a little bit more intimidating than I thought.

After spending the past year in Kenya as a student and then traveling around to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Madagascar and India, this is my first trip since I came back to the States. I successfully transitiond back to the world known as the college bubble of exams and essay writings. And you know what? I’m a wee bit nervous about my four weeks of complete unstructured time, my total freedom. Yes, bursting with excitement, but I seem to have a slight twange of ‘whoa mama what am I getting myself into’. This though, as my brother reminds me, is pretty standard Joslin pre-travel, and will dissapate once I reach Nicaragua.

My ‘wing-it’ approach to travel has yet to cause me troubles, but now, with graduation foreboding, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull the ‘what happens, happens’ mentality off as my mantra in life as well for that much longer. This trip is a transition, not a transition, but THE transition, the transition that seems to pervade my whole ’18-24 year old’ existence. Dreams of solo round the world trip tickets among images of hours of long hard work regulate my sleeping. This trip is the test – a sort of multiple choice exam with only a few questions in view. Do I really want to travel next year? Can I, both mentally or financially? Where do I go from there? Will I have to (gasp) get a nine to five job? What happens May 15th? This trip is many things but planned it is not. I know that everything will work itself out, I do, but still that fogginess remains, and in the fight between exhiliration and uneasiness, the feeling of excitement is losing ground quickly.

I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up in the next week or so. For that matter, I don’t know where I’ll end up in the next year or so. But, I do know that the time will come, and I will figure it out, and I will make it work whatever the outcome may be. As for now, I try to embrace my love of the ‘plan of no plan’ and see where this takes me. I bravely breathe in the reality that the past is gone, the future is not yet here, and try to revel in the rarity of this very moment. Until then, you can find me at quite possibly at your local airport, doing some quality people watching and filling out crossword puzzles.

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