Imagine that, in this scenario, Carmen Sandiego is me. Because, well, she is. I mean, I am. We are the same person.
Okay, maybe I haven’t been quite as around the world as this stylish 80s icon, but I have been traveling pretty extensively these past few months.
I have to pause because that sentence isn’t something I thought I’d ever write. If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be making multiple international trips, I would have laughed in your face. And then I probably would have had a panic attack just thinking about being on a plane for that long.
I’ve been afraid of flying for a long time. It didn’t bother me when I was little, but by my teen years I developed a pretty fierce phobia. I’d dwell on any impending flight for weeks, be physically sick the day of, and basically be panicky throughout the entire flight. My heart would race. My breath would shorten. My hands would shake, tingle, go numb. I’d feel like I was out of my body. I talked my way out of all non-essential flights, and some essential ones, too.
But when I started my new job last February, I knew I’d have to travel occasionally. It made me pause before I accepted the position. I thought, can I do this? And then I thought, can I pass this up? The “no” was stronger with the second question than the first, so I went with it.
Now that I’m on the other side of three opportunities to visit different countries, I realize how crazy I would have been to pass it up. How much I would have regretted it later. My fear of flying stems largely from a lack of control – I don’t have any power over what happens once I step on that plane – but the same can be said for every moment of my life. Maybe an airplane is just a really big, really loud, really high symbol of the lack of control we have over everything.
I’m not completely over my fear of flying. I still get the racing heart and the shakies, and turbulence still sucks, but I’ve made 6 flights across oceans – Pacific and Atlantic – and have dealt with that fear. I’m sure I’ll still get the racing heart and the shakies, but hey, at least I get to see the world in the process, right?
At any rate, I took some pretty awesome pictures (because of the scenery, not because of my skill) that I want to share with you all! I’ve taken two trips to France, which is the country of my heart I swear, and just got back from Seoul, which was amazing and so special since Mister Jess is Korean and our little Bug is half. It was so incredible to be there and see the heritage that is so inextricably part of him.
And now, Paris. Sigh. I wish I could rewind to being 20 so I could have lived here for a year. Truly the most magical city.
But at the end of the day (or 12, as was the case with my February France trip), there’s no place like home.
What is your favorite place to visit? Been anywhere fun lately? Talk to me in the comments!