1 February 2010

The Train to Paris

Ok the beginning of my epic adventure was not nearly as cool as I would have hoped. I have such a fascination with Fairy Tales that I thought my travels would begin with curiosity, or a sense that something great was about to happen. Not with the picture of reality that was myself clinging to Andrew, and vocally bawling like a child. I was shaking from the knees down not unlike my childhood dog CookiesandCream when she really really needed out to pee, or was freezing cold. Riddled with fear of the unknown and the horrors of my imagination I began to beg. I pleaded to stay, to have Andrew come with me, I professed my fear, several profanities, all before I started to barter things I knew would be tempting to others in exchange for a way out of this trip. There is an odd sort of selfishness that comforts you when you give up preconceived notions of acceptable adult behavior and allow yourself to make a scene at the train station. First of all you may not get exactly what you want but you do get a whole bunch of attention, that should keep your energy levels up. That and there was a sense of release and careless abandon in my behavior that ironically mirrored some of the character aspects I am hoping to develop on my journey. So in retrospect I am mortified at my spineless actions this morning but learning to be a little more selfish is not nesisarily a bad thing on my part. Whats done is done, and we are moving forward.

First of all I would like to say a big Thank You to my love Andrew for supporting my legless crying, helping me on to the train so that I could move forward with my travels, and especially finding my seat so that I was facing forward cause this train is making me nautious as it is, I cant even imagine if I was going the wrong way. To all my fans out there in the world take note that the bacon roll may be the Scots breakfast of choice but its never good when combined with adreneline caused by fear, a high speed train, and attempts to read.

So I find myself on the train to Paris, due to terminate in an entirely different country, one that doesn't speak my languadge, where I should be in time for tea. I have been reading, sleeping and trying to remember why I decided to put myself through this. I will try to re-cap for those of you who never knew why, or for those of you who may have forgotten the reasons for my resolve after this morning It all started when I watched the movie Stardust on the big screen and thought once again "I wish I was in love like that!" I have this type of thought rather frequently as I mentioned earlier I have a bit of a thing for fairy tales and true love. So I began to think about all my favorite stories and what were the elements they had in common, travel, frightining or occasionally near death experiences, transformation, and a redefinition of what home is. I have always been a bit of a scaredy cat so the realization that blissful success would only come to those whom faced some fears, grew as a person, and redefined the very place that is the safest and most familiar was exteremly depressing. However as I am 27 and tiered of letting my fears dictate where and how I shall live so I decided to go Backpacking. It was the most terrifying thing I could think of that will ensure growth and some courage on my part. There is so much more to my desision than just my fears, but that seems to be the one rearing up today so its the one that got the press time. Stay tuned with this blog and you may see other themes develop later.

So here I am ready to go. Getting ready was an adventure in itself. Packing enough for 6 weeks, and remaining mobile takes a special kind of skill. I wanted to be surrounded by items (or for the sake of the story, weapons of power) that would help me fight my way through this emotional transformation. I have lucky tallismans, books for inspiration, and journals to record my epic path. I wanted to bring a copy of Alice and Wonderland with me as it is my all time favorite book, and one about a young girl having a rather unusual exploration herself. However on sale there was also Ann of Green Gables another strong willed young woman comming of age. If you bought 2 books the 3rd was free so I grabbed a copy of Aesops Fables as well. With a novel of tips and tricks for traveling gifted to me by my older brother and the family whom are vastly experienced in the art of travel. After adding Arestotol poetry, Lonely planets guide to Europe and a few other books for fluff I found my little day bag is actually heavier than my large backpack full of clothes. I even had to take out some pajamas, and my favorite pair of black and white 1940's heels so I had room for all the books. I did pause for a moment bemused that, I, of all people were sacrificing room for books, something must be different already, cause I hate reading. More strength from the women in my life came along in the form of my bookmark made by my sister who traveled right along side my brother, and never once made an embaressing display of her fears in the train station. I have a little pillow sachet from my GrandMary that tells me dreams do come true. A bag full of photos of my family and moms mint tea bags cause the smell reminds me of home. I have the little rainbow coloured ribbon of one of my brothers traveling bags, a stunning bracelet in blue made with secrete powers from Camelot by my wee nephew Avery. My music player is full of my fathers jazz. From Andrew I constantly wear my Thistle necklace with a secret sapphire in it, and now a small silver celtic knot work ring to keep Scotland with me no matter where I am. Then of course I have Henry, the ever loyal and fearless Henry. He will be by my side through the entire trip and has enough excitement to fill a world cup stadium so I'm glad for his love and friendship.

Well I think I am as ready as I could have been, the rest is going to have to be a surprise. Thank you so much to all those who helped support me to get me here. I'm on the train to Paris, and so the journey begins. I love you, xxxx


Anonymous said...

Cousin!!! I am so proud of you for going on this epic journey :) And, I must admit, slightly envious. I can't wait to see what you experience. xo xo xo

Chip Michael said...

We're thinking about you.... every moment along the way.

Great first post and although emotionally fraught, it bodes well for a wonderful trip.

Eddie Louise said...

Baby!!! The first step is always the hardest! We are with you in spirit every step of the way. Don't forget to rely on the wisdom of others (always an element of the stories) most often from the strangest character, or the place you would least expect it. Refuse to take things at face value - look for the deeper meaning, the hidden motive, and the cleverly disguised key. Most of all, enjoy the adventure!! Love you! Madre

Aric Clark said...

Getting over your concern about what other people will think of your behavior (especially perfect strangers) is one of the best things about traveling. When you're alone and you don't speak the language you end up having to make a fool of yourself. Embrace your inner fool. Fools have the most fun and learn the most too.