A year ago today, I embarked on a 15-day trip to New Zealand (click over to the 11/03 and 12/03 archives for the wacky details). At the time, I was struggling pretty badly with a broken heart. During my two weeks on the other side of the planet, I discovered how the memory of joy and love can make a person whole. Before then, I’d always been the type to fixate on the past, on absent loves and blown chances. But 32 years of looking back was giving me a crick in my neck.
So, for two weeks, I got to rebuild love without having to center it on another person. It helped that I was in a different world, doing crazy-ass things — jetboating through a river canyon, helicoptering onto a glacier, table-dancing to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, taking The Leap off a 160-foot platform with a rubber band attached to my chest, drinking Flatliners with Australians — that I never would’ve done in my familiar environment. Since then, just about every day’s been a wonder, a constant miracle.
After re-finding love in myself, I found it in someone else.
I’ve made great friends (but seem to have lost some others).
I’ve seen more of the country and the world than I expected to in the year since that trip: Las Vegas, Charleston, Orlando, Annapolis, Boston, the San Francisco-San Diego drive, Budapest, Stockholm, Copenhagen, London, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and numerous trips to NYC, with Brussels and Amsterdam coming up next month. Sometimes the travel wears me down, but I’ll take it over sitting at home week after week.
Sorry to sound all boring and unsnarky. The anniversary of the trip (which was really the first trip I ever took that didn’t involve family, friends, or work) got me thinking about all that joy, so I figured I’d share it a little.
Drink a Flatliner for me this weekend.
On second thought, don’t; you’ll just curse my name for the rest of the week.