I get this question or variations of this question a lot: Are you afraid? My brother, Ivan, even asked me the other day why I was watching so much X-Files when I was about to move to a place where I would probably have to go outside in the dark to go to the bathroom. My answer to these question is pretty simple, no, I’m not afraid. I don’t think you can live your life in fear. How limiting is that? I can’t limit myself by being afraid of new experiences. There are millions of people who have lived long, full, and happy lives in Africa. And yes, there are lots of killer animals and diseases, but that’s just a small part of the amazing journey that I am about to embark on. Also, I’m a pretty smart person, I don’t think I’m going to put myself in too many unnecessarily dangerous situations. Of course, I’m sure that I will come across some scary experiences, but that’s just a part of life.
Of course, as I get closer and closer to my departure date (just fifteen more days) I get a little more anxious and nervous. I’m not scared, but it is a little unsettling going into a situation like this where you can really make no assumptions or expectations for what your life is going to look like for the next two plus years. It’s also hard to have so much still to do and so little time. I’m feeling the pressure to get packed up and have everything in order, but that’s not quite possible yet. There is also the added stress of making sure I see the people I love before I leave and getting some good quality time in. I’ve already had the beginnings of goodbyes and am not looking forward to the really official ‘I won’t be talking to you for months’ goodbyes that are coming. I can’t even begin to think of how hard it will be to say goodbye to my mom when she drops me off at the airport. But as Winnie the Pooh said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”