It’s official. I’m going abroad this summer! Twice. Yay!
First to Jamaica to get several shades browner, eat something jerked, curried, or otherwise tropically spiced, and pick up a few doo-dads to look at in the winter when I’m sitting in my living room thinking of how sucky my life is at that moment.
Then I’m going to Brazil to mess up the rumba something terrible, sweating joyously all the while; to admire butts so much more capable of doing thongs justice than can mine; and to acquire a few doo-dads to look at in winter when I’m sitting in my living room thinking of how sucky my life is at that moment.
I’ve always wanted to travel. In college, I studied all the study abroad applications, went to the Peace Corps meetings, and filled out an employment application to be a Delta flight attendant.
My plans were consistently thwarted by well meaning comments that made me feel a little awkward about going to places where “you cain’t even speak they language” and “don’t even know nobody there.”
“You know, I hear they live in huts and have no indoor plumbing,” they would look at me with wide bugaboo eyes like the friggin’ Citizens Council was on to my uppity tendencies, or wonder, “So what’re you gonna do about your hair?”
Later, I still had no answers for them nor did I need to: life kicked in. Bills big as their eyes had been; vacation time small as my voice had been in response; and ultimately a fear that maybe the well-meaners were prophesying a fate I could not imagine in my wildest dreams. And my dreams can be rather wild.
My first trip abroad was, finally, last summer to a quaint artists’ colony in Costa Rica. I shared a studio with a family of geckos (or newts as my reptile-loving nephews informed me), an army of ants and Super Spider. I got to the compound a day after my flight landed and my driver never arrived, after nearly being abducted trying to get from the airport to the compound. Located in small town outside San Jose that did not use street or house numbers, the compound was beautiful even though getting (and staying) there was a bit of an adventure.
The travelogues I sent home, which I thought I laced with good humor, only make the well meaners wonder–not so much aloud these days but with almost as wide eyes–what is this fire under my feet. I guess I loved the farmers cheese, bananas, and gallo pinto too much. And now los ticos got me believing what I always kind of believed: there is more where that came from–and more wheres, too.
So here I am: teaching myself to act, not react. That wild dreams are the ones most worth dreaming. And I am teaching myself basic Portugues. ‘Cause I’m going abroad y’all! Yay!