Tomorrow I leave home for three weeks. I'm meeting my parents in Dusseldorf, where we're staying in a castle. Then we head to Frankfurt and Rome—with a detour to Pompeii before the ruins crumple beyond recognition. I should be excited. Over the moon, even. Instead I've sat paralyzed in bed all day, answering emails and weathering the chest-crushing agony I've come to recognize as my physical experience of panic. You guys, I'm terrifed.
At first I thought I was nervous about all the work I had to accomplish before I left. But the closer my departure date has drawn and the more I've squared away, the more the pain has mounted until each breath requires a focused, bracing effort. So what gives? The fact of the matter is that I'm about to step farther beyond my comfort zone than I have in a very long time.
The travel I've done to date—domestic road trips, airline jaunts to other US cities for work—has been a valid and valued part of my experience. But from beneath the weight of my fear I recognize it's time to journey beyond the ubiquitous Starbucks and universal cell reception. So I'm packing light (I won't be adding much more to my luggage than the above) and leaving my expectations behind. I may not be mentally prepared for my trip, but I'm more than ready to have this tortuous anticipation over!
P.S. I'd love tips from the seasoned travelers out there. And for crying out loud, I'm just going to Europe. I'd be cowering and quaking if a trip to Africa were in my immediate future! Baby steps, friends. Images: 1, 2, 4, 5. 3. Shopping Guide: 1. Railroad Stripe Overalls 2. Tieks Ballet Flats 3. Twyla Tharp The Creative Habit 4. Nautical Striped Scarf 5. materials + process backpack 6. James Perse T-Shirt 7. Blue and White Striped Shorts