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Posted by Jessica on Jan 19, 2005
That Roller Coaster Feeling

This is a journal entry I wrote back in August 2004. At the time, the trip was only supposed to be 6 months long because I had plans to go to grad school in the fall of 2005 instead of 2006. We were also starting in Southeast Asia and ending in South America, whereas now we're starting in South America.


You know that feeling you get on a roller coaster? The feeling when you can't catch your breath and you open your mouth to speak (or scream), but nothing comes out?

For the past few days, I've had that feeling.

Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma...

And every time I think of our trip I'm overwhelmed with that feeling.

...Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Portugal...

It's strangely exhilarating to have this feeling while just sitting at my desk. To feel my chest and my throat tightened, but not in a stressful way, just in an extremely excited way.

...Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands....

We have just a bit over 5 months before I say goodbye to my friends, to my family, to my cat. Just a bit over 5 months until everything goes into storage, final bills are paid, and my notice is turned in.

It's just a bit over 5 months until my toes will touch the sand of Hawaii for the first time...before I leave our continent for the first time...before I experience things that I've never even dreamed of before.

I keep imagining how this feeling is only going to grow and grow over the next few months. It gets stronger with every travel blog I read and every day dream I have. It gets stronger still when a part of me secretly wishes I don't get into grad school this time around so we can stay out for 12 months instead of 6 months. And I imagine it will be completely overwhelming in a delicious sort of way come December and January when I will write "only 2 months" and "only 1 month" until we leave.

I wonder if I'll feel it with every new country we visit? I wonder if I'll feel it, several years from now, when we're planning our 2nd round-the-world trip? If not, I want to remember it now because it really is rather wonderful.

Maggie
February 25, 2005 at 3:00pm
Although it was in 92, I still remember the excitement about going to Spain for the first time. That roller coaster feeling you describe I think applies to anyone visiting another country for the first time. Yeah, you're going to be scared since you won't entirely be used to the different cultures, but the experience nevertheless will be amazing.

I wish I could remember the name of that beautiful garden in Madrid where my buddies and I had our picnic lunch. The flowers were out of this world! I mean, they were o bright, beautiful, and fragrant (or however ya spell it). I remember there were several chess tables off to the side and a little playground that my buddies goofed around on. Funny after all these years I still can remember how it felt… You're going to have a blast Jessica I just know it. By the way… Sangrias (or however ya spell it) are quite potent so be careful when drinking these. I was stupid and forgot… Let's just say I know what a Spanish hangover feels like. ; o P

daddy
March 3, 2005 at 9:46am
okay i'm here and i think i've got it figured out.i'll post this little ditty and see if i can view it later. i'm going to continue to check out the rest of your site and let you continue to pack and get ready for the start of your great adventure.
daddy
March 4, 2005 at 5:49pm
okay i know it's early to hear from you but i just thought i let you know that we're thinking of you

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