Mental Preparation... for what? For continuous stress? For overwhelmingly uncomfortable places? For crowds and crowds of people you've never met. For accents, and different foods, and weird weather? For the most amazing experience you may ever have outside of your comfort zone? How does one mentally prepare themselves for the unknown?

As I sit, sipping my morning coffee, contemplating this trip that is about to begin, I can't help but dive into the thoughts of, are Luke and I 'traveler' material? I have done some traveling in my day. I am no-where near a self-proclaimed 'traveler'; however, I have lived out of a backpack for some time, and I have roughed-it in a few foreign countries. Luke has not. 

Curiosity #1 - I have a general understanding of what to expect.. and how to expect the unexpected.. and I believe that Luke does too.. but how much can one truly know and anticipate the unexpected without actually having experienced something similar in the past?

Guess how we plan to find out... by doing. Luke and I have both spent many many years of our lives working towards something, whether it be post-secondary, our careers, saving money, etc. For the first time in our so far short but full lives, we are both consciously choosing to step back, take a break, relax, and allow ourselves to PLAY!! This decision is one that I am most proud of. It takes a lot of work to:

a. prove to yourself that you can make it in the real world enough so that you are comfortable taking a break from the real world. 

b. remove yourself from the real world with enough confidence in yourself and your plans that you are truly having an adventure.. just.. for.. you! It's about self exploration. About self  realization. About fun! 
Curiosity #2 - Luke and I, despite how healthy and strong our relationship is, really have not been together for that long of a time span. We will be celebrating our one-year anniversary on the beginning leg of this trip. Is this a problem? Or is this a blessing? 

Two days ago I had a wonderfully inspiring coffee with a work colleague who has the utmost support for my decision to pack up and go. I mentioned this curiosity to him, his response:
                      |  time is a concept, ignore that concept, when you know, you know  |

I came across this blog that I thought really laid out a lot of the potential issues that I had already considered to mentally prepare myself for when traveling as a couple. There are added benefits of seeing and doing all of these amazing things with the person you would want to explain them all to anyways, but there are also drawbacks of having the added pressure of being a couple and keeping your relationship healthy and strong. 

Have you traveled as a couple? Are you about to embark on a you&i adventure? Give this blog post a read.. it's really well laid out: Life's Great Adventures - Traveling as a Couple

Curiosity #3 - What will be the outcome of this trip? 

I'm that girl that when I get bored with a book, or if I am really into a book but don't have a lot of time.. I do the un-thinkable.. I quickly, when no one is looking, flip to the last few pages, scan the text ever so quickly, and try to figure out the outcome of the characters before I actually read the entire thing. I generally still continue to read the entire book.. so I'm not a completely heart-less individual. However, I have always been soooo curious as to what the future holds. I have always been very finish-line driven that, if I could just know that something specific is coming my way at some point down the road.. I'm happy to aimlessly find my way to that point down the road. This desire to know life's outcomes can be pretty exhausting. If you haven't noticed yet... life doesn't exactly give you those outcomes ahead of time.. nor does it stick to a certain path. In the past few years, I have learned to absolute love this! The uncertainty, the craziness, the having to deal with anything and everything that comes your way. I love it! I have developed enough stability within myself and my immediate surroundings that I can welcome the uncertainty. So, as much as I truly am itching to know exactly what will happen in this trip, will we end up emigrating to New Zealand, will we be back to Canada within 6 months, will I actually find a way to write a column for a travel magazine and have that published, will Luke and I become an amazing super-couple from all the craziness of the trip and have concrete ideas of what we want from each other down the road... WHO KNOWS?  I am happy to report that I am expecting the unexpected! 


02/19/2012 1:32pm

For some reason I cannot comment on your 3 stars and a wish but I wanted to say this is a great idea! I did something similar on both my trips to Europe and I love looking back through my travel journal now and remembering those moments. Some days it was something little like the perfect latte in the perfect piazza in Rome and others it was a sunset that made you feel so anonymous and small that it was freeing and invigorating! I called them my emblems of the days (my grandfather gave me the idea for this!) Even if you can't post on here, I encourage you to try to do it everyday in a journal. You will be so happy you did!


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