Posted by: Jena Davison | October 6, 2009

Peace Out U.S. of A

I’m all packed and ready to go! Phew! I am leaving for the airport in about an hour. My flight gets in at 9:20am tomorrow morning, seeing as there are no delays.

Among my list of essential items: my iPod, an in-wall iPod charger, a universal plug adapter, my digital camera/camera charger, my journal, a small notebook for observations and casual interviews, a Spanish-English translator to fill the holes in my Spanish vocabulary, a travel alarm clock, an eye mask and ear plugs, copies of all my important documents, a sorong (that can multi-task as an item of clothing, a towel and a curtain for privacy), advil, a book to read, a pair of flip flops for the shower, a flashlight, high spf sunscreen, woolite to wash clothing in the sink

Now for some quick thoughts:

What I am most looking forward to (almost everything, I suppose): Exploring Buenos Aires with some friends, working at El Diablo Tranquilo and enjoying the beach in my backyard in Uruguay for a few weeks, skipping winter this year (much deserved after the brutal Wisconsin winters), going to Iguazu falls, visiting the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, visiting Lake Titicaca, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Pichhu, meeting up with some couchsurfing friends in Peru and Ecuador, living in Ecuador, the opportunity to work for a travel guide, standing on the equator, meeting interesting locals and travelers, improving my Spanish, veering off the Gringo Trail to some more off-beat destinations, everything being super cheap!, blogging, traveling alone

What I am most nervous about: language barriers/miscommunication (i.e. the realization that my Spanish is just not that good), being hissed at or cat called by Latin men (I’m a strong, independent woman, not an object!), standing out as a tourist and a) being ripped off everywhere I go or b) not given the opportunity to really assimilate into the culture, being robbed or assaulted, traveling alone (notice it is both something I am most excited for and most nervous for)

What I will probably miss most about America: my close (closer) proximity to my family/friends, being greeted by my dog every morning (or anytime I walk through the door), being able to drink free tap water at restaurants, speaking English all the time, being able to watch badger sports, access to TV and movies in English, going to lots of live concerts ( I keep torturing myself by looking up all the amazing shows I will be missing while abroad), having a cell phone, easy access to the Internet, wearing jewelry out, coffee to go, breakfast the American way (pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon…yum), the loud and obnoxious people (hardly), the fast-paced lifestyle (no thanks)

Sidenote: My fortune in my fortune cookie last night was “Writing is thinking on paper.” Kind of coincidential, I suppose.


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