A day doesn’t go by without someone asking me when I’m leaving for my trip and where I’m going first. I’m hoping I’ll be able to answer that question soon, but for now I’m trying to take it all one day at a time. That saying is fitting since it’s from the AA handbook. And while I’m not an addict, I’m going through somewhat of a withdrawal from my former life. One day at a time is all I can manage at the moment. One day without my car. One day without my apartment. One day living out of a suitcase. One day sticking to my budget. One day not losing my mind because I don’t have a plan.
Even though I haven’t left yet, I’ve already begun living like a Gyspy. I sold my car a couple weeks ago and since that day I’ve been traveling around the country saying goodbye to close friends. What’s strange is that since I've lived in three states and eight cities, many of my friends are spread out across the US, so I sometimes go a year or even more without seeing them and we think nothing of it. But this time it’s different. As I said goodbye to each person, the reactions were very different. Some acted as though it was a normal visit and we’d pick up where we left off in a year or more, like we always have. But a few looked me dead in the face and asked, "Is this the last time I’m going to see you?” And here’s the thing… I don’t know.
It’s a bit haunting having to stare someone in the face and either lie to them, or tell the truth, especially when it comes to the topic of your own fate. While some of my friends were asking if they’d ever see me again because they think I’ll meet some Duke or Count abroad and never come back, the super downer/pessimistic ones (you know who you are) think I’m going to die overseas. The jury is still out on whether my demise will be more like a scene from "Taken," where Liam Neeson just doesn’t find me in time… or some sappy Lifetime movie where I’m finally happy but the cancer comes back and I die all the same. Obviously, I’m hoping for some "Taken" action so at least my mother will get to do some traveling while hunting down and surely killing my abductors. Albania would be really beautiful if it wasn’t so murdery. And how amazing would that eulogy be? Back when we weren’t sure if I was actually going to die, I asked my best friends to make sure Randall would read my eulogy. That name not ringing a bell? He’s the amazing voice of the Honey Badger videos on YouTube and I would say I need him in my life, but I need him more in death.
So while I leave my friends to decide if the goodbye is permanent, temporary, or just business as usual, I take everything else one day at a time. I’m already practicing what I preach and sticking to my budget. I flew to Dallas, Vegas and Napa this month and managed to stay on track financially. I rented my apartment out while I was gone, used credit card miles for the flights, stayed with friends instead of at hotels, ate cheap, shamelessly flirted with men to buy me drinks and I even picked up some freelance writing work along the way.
So when I post pictures of myself in different cities and states in the span of a week, instead of messaging me or commenting with some passive aggressive line like "It must be nice,” get your shit together and do your own traveling. Feel free to still stalk my pics and be jealous, but start to make your own stupid Facebook friends just as jealous. It’s not as expensive as you think it is to travel. Whether it’s to three states in three weeks to make your friends prematurely mourn your death, or to travel the world. It’s doable. And while you may think you have all the time in the world… you could be kidnapped by Albanians, or mauled to death by a crazy nastyass honey badger and guess what? The Honey Badger don’t care that you never pretended to be holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Please resist the urge to do that by the way. Douchebags, all of them.)