And So It Begins…

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The timing couldn’t be more perfect: At the end of March, I got laid off. My lease ends in May. I am a certified yoga instructor come May 16. I’ve been nourishing a chunk of change in the bank with a bit from each paycheck for the past two years.

I am a Wanderer. Physically, I’ve only been a handful of places, but my soul has been poking and prodding me to plan an escape for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to travel, but the timing has never been quite right. After college, I thought I was responsible by choosing to work instead of travel, being an effective citizen, doing what I was supposed to, etc. Fuck that shit. Then I enrolled in yoga teacher training with hopes of vanishing abroad and making extra cash on the side by teaching classes. Eighteen month later, I’m so so so so close to being finished.

Spain has been beckoning to me for years now–I couldn’t even put my finger on what it is that has me so enthralled. Maybe because I fantasize Spaniards being feral and moody and passionate–I’d fit right in. Maybe because of Javier Bardem, ScarJo and Penelope Cruz threesies. Maybe because it’s an amazingbeautifulinspired country. Whatever it is, it tugs at me and now it’s happening.

The Plan: As of May 22, I’ll be Barcelona-bound. I have a rail pass to traverse the country as I please, my biggie Must-See’s being Granada and Madrid. A lady-neighbor of mine will be staying in Toulouse in June, and she’s invited me to visit, so Toulouse, here I come. June 22nd, I’ll fly to Istanbul, where my soon-to-be former roommate has hooked me up with an old pal she knows. June 29th, I’ll fly back to le Chi.

Naturally, I want to keep things as cheap as possible. I’m a member of Helpx.net, which is so awesome but geared toward those who want to spend a little more time in one part of the country–say a month in Tuscany helping market a farm share (totally an invite I received from someone on there..sweet,right?). So, I’ve resolved to contacting hostels with my CV asking if they’ll put up a lowly traveler for a couple nights in exchange for a few hours of work every day. So far, no responses, although I remain hopeful.

I’m also looking into Couch Surfing–although the formalities totally elude me.

“Hey, so I’ll be in Madrid–can I crash at your place?”

I feel like I’m inviting myself over. I kinda like this idea better because a) I could spend more time exploring than working and b) I can get shown around by locals and make friends. Hostels are good places for making friends too, though. We’ll see.

It’s far too easy to want to sneak in other stops during my stay. I’m seriously entertaining Lisbon and Morocco. And my flight from Istanbul stops in Amsterdam, so why not spend a few days there, too? I am a greedy toddler in a candy store stuffing as many sweets as I can into my mouth–inevitably, I’ll choke. So. Morsel by morsel, I’ll savor and enjoy without feeling like I need to do everything this time around. There WILL be a next time (and a time after that, and after that, and after that, and so on), and I can do it then. I WILL avoid my inherent tendency to plan and schedule myself into oblivion–but then when will I have the chance to write and read and drink and explore? The main thing is not to burn out.

Things come together so beautifully.


5 thoughts on “And So It Begins…

  1. Reblogged this on calebbaldree and commented:
    How long do you plan on traveling before coming back home? Or is there a home any more? Besides savings, do you work for extra money too? And do you have just a backpack of a few belongings? I’m wanting to do the same as you. Sorry for all the questions.

    1. Hello! I’ll be gone about 6 weeks before coming back to Chicago. I have savings, and I’m using about a third of it toward this trip, so not burning through all of it by any means. Never really been a light packer, but I’m aiming to have a carry on-sized bag for the duration of my trip; a backpack would be aiming a little high for me, but I’m the kind of gal who needs to have contingency outfits.

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