But excited.

But terrified.

That’s been my emotional state for the past few days. Rachel and I arrived in Seattle on Friday evening with a car full of our possessions, and in the days since, we’ve been working through a massive pre-departure checklist. Around dinnertime tonight, passports in hand and with little more than the gear and garb our backpacks will hold, we’ll be boarding a flight at SeaTac, destination Mexico City.

When Rachel was hired at the Spokane Spokesman-Review last fall, her employers, aware of her desire to travel, offered her a three-month sabbatical. Almost immediately, she[ref]I’d say “we”, but this trip exists almost entirely because of her hard work. I did next to nothing.[/ref] set to work planning the multi-continental travel extravaganza she’d wanted to take–and drag me on–for years. After some back-and-forth on places we really wanted to see (mostly consisting of me saying, “Uh, I dunno, wherever sounds good“), we settled on three destinations: Mexico, Italy, and India.


At this point, it would be rather silly of me to retread the ground that she’s already covered, so instead of giving a ludicrously detailed itinerary, allow me to point you to her blog, where she’s done exactly that.

By one arbitrary and rather inscrutable metric that makes sense in my head, this summer’s big trip will be the most travel I’ve ever done. Sure, I lived abroad in Japan for a year, which is a very different kind of international experience, but even though this trip is shorter than the time I spent in Japan, it feels weightier. I’ll be setting foot in three continents, not one, each with their own wildly different cultures. Rachel and I will be trying to get by on our own–without the support of any organized tour or friendly study abroad consortium. I’ve been an international citizen before, but never as much of a traveler, and that’s what’s filling me with equal parts excitement and terror.

(The first hurdle: Getting me, a gringo who doesn’t really speak Spanish, through Mexican customs. The two of us are taking separate flights from LA to Mexico City, and as we just discovered, Rachel is arriving not only in a separate terminal, but one that’s in an entirely separate building than the gate I arrive in. Clearly, we will have no shortage of adventures during this trip.)

As Rachel’s post says, we both plan to update our blogs from the road, internet connectivity permitting. What ridiculous stories will we acquire? Will the Fisher Space Pen do the trick for my travelog? Just how scruffy will I allow my face to become? Stay tuned.