“…and we were wondering if you would like to come with us?”
Normally when a parent leaves a message at my work asking for me to call her it isn’t a good sign. Tutoring children is not a dangerous profession per se, but it certainly comes with its fair share of complicated emotions, expectations, joy and frustration. Strangely enough, that hard won “A” on a test is almost always reported with an email, and the less than exciting grades I always find out about with a sticky note left on my desk with the words, “[parent] would like to speak to you, please give a call ASAP.” But this time was certainly different, and I don’t imagine I’ll ever have a conversation like that again!
To travel the world, without qualification, is an extraordinary opportunity–and one I imagine fewer people are afforded than would like to have. I now can count myself among those lucky few and I could not be more excited. The best part is, any grand declaration, superlative, or dreaming is guaranteed to be completely inadequate to the experience we all will have, so I can amp up my excitement as much as I like and never fear for disappointment. Not only that, but I will also have the good fortune of having the world as my classroom, and two of the brightest, most curious students I have ever met. Curiosity is my favorite human trait (and non-human trait for that matter) and I will be surrounded by individuals with that quality in abundance and a seemingly endless source of tastes, sounds, smells, sights, emotions, and humanity to absorb. I know there will be moments of anxiety, discomfort (how many airplane flights will this be?) and utter shock, but also an equal amount of awe, joy, and pleasant surprise. Plus, I have the added benefit of experiencing the world through both my own eyes and the eyes of a younger generation and I am sure Brooke and Brayden will show us ways to view experiences and understand people in a manner we never could realize on our own.
I have loved going to the library every weekend, and the books on Israel, China, Japan, Tibet, Africa, Chile, Argentina (the list goes on!) are piling up on my desk and I cannot wait for the pictures I’ve seen and the blurbs that I’ve read to turn into reality. The best part, I think, will be meeting the people we have become at the end of this adventure. How could we not be wiser, stronger, and more compassionate–and a good deal cooler–when this is through?
An enormous thank you to my partner and all of my family (and dog!) for letting me go on this adventure. Their support will make all the difference as we trek through the continents.
Strangely enough, I think a phrase I learned working in the circus is the most apropos for the beginning of this adventure: “See you down the road!”