Confession: It's been five days since my last adventure. And ten more until my next.
Let's just get this out of the way, shall we? Yes, I was just in Europe, yes, it was a holiday with my husband, and yes, it was fantastic. More than fantastic. Every superlative you can think of.
Ok. Here's a picture.
Romantic, no? Yes, yes it was.
But this next adventure is different. Different, in that it's a solo odyssey. Different, in that I'm heading to entirely new ground (well, with a familiar stop along the way), and different in that I'm going to be working my butt off (for part of the time, anyway).
Mostly, this next adventure is different because of my mindset. While our European holiday was all about pleasure, this new trip is about experiencing the world in a new way, connecting with the people I meet along the way, and learning tons about myself. It's a sea change I'm looking for, and it's as much an inward journey as it is outward. What better way to shake things out of complacency than to step outside of my comfort zone and to go it alone for a bit.
So that's what I'm going to do. First to California, where I've never been, but feel like I have. Then to my favorite city in the world, London, and then - the truly adventurous part of the trip - to South Africa. The main purpose of this adventure is to go to South Africa to volunteer with Hands At Work, an organization that works with women and AIDS orphans in rural areas - and I'll be doing...heaven knows what - I'll find out when I get there. And after, I'm sticking around for a bit to see the other side of the story. And yes, I'm going on safari (squeee!!!).
And so, in this weird hinterland of jet lag recovery and trip preparation, I feel like I'm planning my own version of Eat, Pray, Love. Except that I'm not escaping a bad marriage and depression and searching for love. What I am searching for is my sense of purpose and my place in this world. I'm so grateful to have the chance to go on this adventure to look for it. Let's hope I find it.
In the meantime, I'm getting ready to hit the open road.