One week to go! This month has been so busy, and there’s still so much to do before I leave. I think I’m going to breathe a huge sigh of relief when I finally get on the plane next Friday!
I was able to make an unexpected trip home to see my parents in Montana this week. Originally, I had planned to work at my temp job through May 12, wanting to store up as much in my savings as possible before leaving, but my manager came to me last week and said they’d hired a new full-time employee, so my last day would actually be Friday the 1st.
Disappointing and discouraging though it was to my financial cushion, it actually ended up being a great blessing. I had a few extra days, and my parents wanted to see me before i left, so I get to begin my adventure from the house I grew up in.
I’ve had a marvelous time being back home in Hamilton. I got to spend time with my parents, my sister and her family, and my nieces and their adorable baby boys. Knowing how hard it’s going to be being far away from them for the next 5 1/2 months, it’s been wonderful to have this extra time.
I also had the chance to go through some old papers and scrapbooks tucked away in my former bedroom. I ended up throwing some of it away (lest evidence of my teenage crushes ever be revealed), but I also found several pages of my “dream vacations”- pictures of places I wanted to go- including Ireland, Paris, London, and Austria.
A couple of them I’ve already been to on previous trips to Europe, but it was fun to have the reminder that I’m embarking on an adventure that’s been almost 20 years in the making. I think my 14 year old self would be very proud!
So, since I’m considering this the beginning of my journey, here is the first lesson I needed to be reminded of: even though things don’t always work out the way we plan, sometimes they turn out even better. To quote Alice Steinbach, one of my favorite writers and travelers, “M=EA (Mishap=Excellent Adventure).” I’m sure I’ll be using this formula quite a bit over the next several months!
The time here at home has been priceless, and I’m so grateful for unexpected blessings.