Less Than One Week: T-minus 6 Days

Trip Start Aug 01, 2011
Trip End Dec 02, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Connecticut
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've been trying to get used to the unreal heat we've been having here by telling myself this is NOTHING compared to the greenhouse I'll be taking off for next week. My little oscillating fan has been working overtime. Multiple pieces of paper are fluttering around my room with phrases like "buy socks" "health insurance" "suspend Verizon" "Do they still make traveller's checks and should I get some" "Is Deet toxic when used on bare skin" "Email the elephant guy" etc, etc. Yesterday, I had a note stuck to the bottom of my foot reminding me to buy neosporin and tums.

My parents guest bed is covered in toiletries, my purple bandanna, water purification tablets, my new purple Merrill sneakers that I was assured were an adorable investment and not a heinously ugly expenditure, six bathing suits, portable rolls of toilet paper (I have three) for gross disgusting paperfree holes in the ground, journals, multiple passport photos for arrival Visas, and a multitude of prescription bottles of medication for Malaria, nausea, infections and everything else I am hoping to death I won't be needing.

Notice I didn't mention clothing. For some reason, clothing for four months is the most daunting of tasks ahead of me. I have an 85 Liter backpack and it looks TINY when I'm envisioning packing clothes I will wear for four months. Not to mention the entire child run factory's worth of cheap clothing I plan on buying. Kidding about the child run factory part. I do not support child labor. But I do support cheap clothing. No backpack is big enough for that.

Instead of packing, I've been distracting myself from the overwhelming anxiety I've been awaking with every morning by spending a whole lot of time with my family and friends. I've gone out to dinner a lot. I've snuggled Ava (my 10 month old niece) any chance I've been given. And I've spent a whole lot of time watching my mother walk into my room, her eyes filling with tears.

My mother is very concerned I will be raped and murdered during my travels. I've been doing my best to assure her that neither rape nor murder are on my To-Do List for Asia. Just today, my father put into action an insurance plan called SOS International. He heard about it from a friend of his whose daughter was in Africa for an extended period of time. She had the unfortunate bad luck of being attacked while on a run through/near the village she was staying in. She was in pretty severe shape and SOS covered a helicopter coming in to airlift her out and fly her to a Hospital where they don't use dirt to sanitize their surgical tools. So. I do feel safe. Er.

Right now its all about the anxiety. One of my best friends, whose been doing an extraordinary job of talking me off ledges of fear, said the other day when I was on the verge of tears, "Case, I haven't heard you say one positive thing about this trip in awhile. Aren't you excited? Why don't you try focusing on the POSITIVE and the EXCITING things instead of everything that might go wrong?" Valid point.

So I've been trying to be more excited about what's ahead rather than so panicky and scared. I really think that the excitement will come when I get my ass on the plane to LA on Monday. When Karis and I can sit next to each other, a couple glasses of wine deep, and start babbling about everything we want to do once we get across the world, then the excited butterflies can take flight. Versus the scaredy moths.

Next time I write, it will be about beginning our excursions in China (!!!!!) and from then on? WHO KNOWS! That's the point: Dive in and ask how far a fall it was later. Bear with me. I promise I'll update on every dive.
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