In 8 days we will board a plane in Miami which will finally whisk us off on our adventure, all the while, our 60-line to-do list continues to stare me down. I make notes on it and cross things off without actually having done them. It feels like we’ve already gotten so far in this process that the rest is becoming so tedious – calling our credit card companies, making sure we have copies of everything we need, packing up all of our accumulated crap from the last month and storing it somewhere at my parent’s house.
Those pesky travel guides and magazine clippings I’ve kept for years also have their place in the daily taunting, screaming at me to pick them up and actually read them.
Visiting with a good friend yesterday, I was reminded of something I had said to her earlier about our trip. My comment was that I was going into the trip with no expectations. I would like to say it’s my maturity that has me grounded in understanding that life unfolds how we least expect it, but I think most of my philosophy comes from having absolutely no idea what we are getting ourselves into. I have hopes and dreams for what this year holds, but I’m firmly pushing all expectations out of my mind.
Expectations easily get the best of us. They creep up in everything from a simple phone call, a reaction from a gift given, an evening on the town to even statuses we post on Facebook.
Why do we invest so much of ourselves in expecting something and then become surprised by the drowning disappointment we feel when it doesn’t come to fruition? (Of course there are always times when we expect something to go badly and we are pleasantly surprised by a better outcome, but those highs seem less impactful than the other lows).
Right now, I don’t have the mental capacity for it. I am choosing not to have the worry associated with building up great expectations consume me when we have so much ahead of ourselves. I want to see this year through eyes wide open – exploring things I never imagined I would see in my life – and understanding them at face value instead of through a lens of disappointment. I know living out of a backpack for a year isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be a “vacation” most days and I’m sure I’m not prepared for what is all to come, but I’m ready to embrace it and share the stories.
Until touch down in Bangkok though, I’m going to keep the expectations at bay, curb the nervousness and try to resist the procrastinating inner-college student in me and get to item #54 on the list…