I am in the air on my way to Reykjavik, Iceland. My excitement to be taking my second international trip is inexplicable. In this moment, I can’t stop thinking about the changes in my life which have brought me here, and of the promise I made to myself, nearly a year ago, to live my life; I mean, really LIVE my life. It is my second winter living in Seattle, Washington. I am thirty-two years old, and just on the other side of a quiet, yet emotionally difficult (to say the least) divorce from my partner of eleven years. It was what some may consider an inevitable progression after a series of mishaps, disagreements, and just plain personality differences.
After my ex-wife and I separated I made what seemed at the time a small vow to visit somewhere I had never been at least once a month, whether near or far, for the next year. This was the beginning of a cosmic effort to reconnect myself with my passions for loving people, creating art, and appreciating life for what it is. Over the next several months I drove my car from Fort Worth, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona to see a childhood friend and his family. From there I drove to Los Angeles, California to spend time with one my best friends and her fiancée, then continued to my new home just south of Seattle. There, I ate at gourmet restaurants, climbed literal mountains, and spent weekends snowboarding at ski resorts.
All of this was leading up to my big goal for the year. It was something I had sworn I would do nearly a decade earlier. I had gotten a passport for a trip I ended up unable to go on in 2006, and when things did not pan out, I swore I would use that passport at least once before it expired. So, here is was at the onset of 2016, down to the wire, I finally found myself at a place in life where I could plan for my first stamp.
I had recently heard stories of the Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, which immediately piqued my interest. I couldn’t get it out of my head. One city filled with spectators from all over the world, gathering in one place for the sheer love of watching performers from all over the world share their talents simply for the sake of art and bringing people together. I couldn’t deny the call. April came and I was ready to start planning. I booked my plane tickets, found an Air B&B just outside of Edinburgh, and for weeks I thumbed through several hundred pages of comedians, drama troupes, cabaret shows, poets, musicians, and the list goes on… and on… It was overwhelming. At this point, I had to decide. I would choose one show which would set the stage for my visit to Scotland, which consisted of a night of traditional food, music and dance. The rest, I would leave up to fate, or ignorance, or whatever you want to call it.
The feelings of anticipation, excitement, and a little bit of fear to travel to a foreign country by myself were looming in the time before my journey. As my plane makes its descent into Reykjavik, however, I realize how MUCH energy I’ve wasted over the years being afraid. I realize this is only the beginning of my journey, and fear is now a thing of the past. I look forward to telling more of Scotland, Iceland, and everything there-onward. I hope you will join me online and in spirit, so we can learn to be fearless together…
…For now, I must prepare myself for the land of fire and ice by putting my thermal underwear on in the airplane bathroom.
Safe travels. Best regards.