Letting Go: Part One


When I first began planning this travel adventure, it had a start and an end point. I thought 6-8 months would quench my wanderlust and I’d figure out some things along the way. Over time, it has evolved into something much larger. I’m selling my house, most things I own, and I have a one way ticket to China. Because I started planning this nearly 6 months ago, I’ve been making decisions on what to keep, and what to let go of ever since.

I always thought I’d keep certain things, but as my departure date nears, I ask myself why I need stuff in a storage unit indefinitely.  Initially, it was difficult to let go of what I felt like were my prized possessions, but the cleaning out process has been fairly cathartic and overall pretty easy.  My house now looks different daily and I won’t lie, it’s starting to hit me!  I’ve lived here for 9 years and everything is changing. Like always, however, I keep my eye on the prize and continue moving in the direction of my new goals.

There’s just one thing though… My dog. This part is going to be the worst. I thought leaving work would be hard, but I’ve been comfortable with training the new RD and I haven’t had any emotional outbursts YET. My dog though. I can’t say bye to him. He doesn’t understand what’s going on and he’s been shuffled back and fourth the last few days between home and his new home. It helps with showing my house but really, it helps me with transitioning.

And on that abrupt note, I think I’m going to end because I get emotional just thinking about it. Now I feel worse that he’s not here, but I had so much to do this evening and I thought he may be better off with his brothers.

Running through the fields.
Running through the fields.

Taking care of business.

I have a little bit of down time this evening and didn’t plan on posting, but why not? I’ve been crazy busy these days trying to get all my ducks in a row. Things are moving quickly and this whole adventure deal is getting real.

As mentioned in my last post, I applied for my visa to China and it arrived today. Tomorrow, the RD I recommended for my position (my first intern of the 2015-2016 school year) starts training with me, and I found someone to take care of my dog while I’m away.  I have just a few weeks left here to pack up all my belongings and even though things have been slow on the real estate front, I’m still hoping for the best. The grass is green and I even had the driveway pressure washed. It looks awesome and I’ve been enjoying some time at home alone, just me and Basil.

Home sweet home!

I have two weeks of work left before I hit the road and head to New Hampshire, visiting friends and family along the way. I’m constantly analyzing and reanalyzing my budget, hoping I can make this all work seamlessly! I’m even planning a trip to Niagra Falls with my friend Jody once I make it to the Granite State. Even though I feel like I’m constantly planning, I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go, right? Anybody have any suggestions or recommendations?

The Logistics of Flying.

Here's a map from the "Been" app. The yellow is where I've been. I'm planning on filling in some more chunks this year!
Here’s a map from the “Been” app. The yellow is where I’ve been. I’m planning on filling in some more chunks this year!

There are so many places to see on our beautiful planet. In this age of technology, it seems the world is getting smaller, but when you get out there, you learn that there’s so much to see and do. I keep adding places to my “Places to Go” list on Pinterest and I just added another host to my time in Mongolia. At this rate, I’ll never come back to the states!

I decided to start my Asian Adventure in China. I got my ticket on United and used my frequent flier miles, so it cost me $5.60! I fly into Beijing and spend 12 days there with a side trip to Zhangjiajie- Google it! Ok, I’ll make it easy for you, here’s the link: http://www.zhangjiajietourism.us.  It looks so beautiful and I know I’ll like being there instead of in the city. I plan on seeing some of the Great Wall of China while in Beijing, and most importantly, take the train to Ulan Bator, the Capitol of Mongolia, where I will meet my first host, live in a ger, and take the cattle out to graze every morning!

I don’t want to do too much planning, but you have to make some decisions on where to go and check if there are any requirements to get there. (And of course, it also helps with budgeting your money).  China requires Americans have a visa, so I got that taken care of today. I submitted 15 pages of documents, my passport, a photo, and $271 and a week later, voila, my fresh new visa will arrive via FedEx to my work. I requested a signature upon delivery because my passport once got delivered to the wrong house from the Indian consulate the day before I left the states for nearly a month. That was nerve wracking!

People often ask where I’m staying, in general, during my travels. That’s where workaway.info comes in. This is a site of hosts from all around the world looking for volunteers to help out with all kinds of stuff. Everything. This is the site my friend Zach told me about two years ago while in Costa Rica.  I’ve had an account for a while and have been perusing the various opportunities ever since… I’m choosing hosts that will provide me with the opportunity to expand my nutrition background, whether it be through learning about local foods, farming, cooking for others, or giving me the opportunity to teach others about nutrition. I don’t know where this year will take me, so I want to expand my horizons in as many areas as possible.

Most of my time away will be spent doing some type of volunteer work, but I will throw in some travel here and there as well. I’ll definitely go out and explore as much as possible when I have down time, and I’m sure it would be nice to check in to a decent hotel every once in a while.  I’m trying to prepare for the unknown and see how others live and experience that life with them.  China will be a segue into the unknown, I’ll venture out on my own or with fellow travelers, but then my life as a “voluntourist” will begin.  Funny how I talk about flying, but I actually arrive to my first country (after China) by train…! ?

Learning to Fly

Learning to fly isn't easy!
Learning to fly isn’t easy!

I don’t know where to begin this post. I did so many things these last few days in preparation for my departure including setting my last day at work, scheduling training with the RD who will take my position, I even mapped out a route for my road trip home. Yesterday I picked up all the last few things I *think* I’ll need, and I packed everything in my Kelty to see IF it would all fit. (Because that’s what Saturday nights are for. ?) Not only did it fit, but I had extra space! Oh, and most importantly, I earned enough frequent flier miles on my United app for a free one way ticket to Asia!! ✈️?

Exciting as all that is, today was even better because I actually got to fly again! I went out to Hidden Hills Arts and took another leap off the trapeze platform and practiced the banana hang and a no hands hang! (I should probably learn the lingo)! Additionally, I got to learn a little with the aerial silks, which I think looks so amazing.  Well, not me but those that know how to do it! I’m not graceful, but hopefully my strength can save me for a bit next time, and there will be a next time… I met so many awesome people today and two of my fit fam friends joined and loved it as well.  How great is it when life throws so many unique and amazing opportunities at you?! Today I was feeling excited and sad at the same time, so much good stuff going on here and I’m going to leave, but so many good things to come! I’m NOT complaining though, I’m happy with this situation and I definitely know things could be different.

I feel like I’ve spent the last two years learning to fly, I’ve gained so much, I’m soaring to new heights, and soon, I’ll take off on my own! ??