Dear LA,

You’ve been so kind and supportive and wonderful about everything I’ve ever written about doing on here.

I hope that I can return the favor by telling you a few things.

About a decade ago, I couldn’t picture myself travelling anywhere. I especially thought that if I got to Europe or Asia, it’d be in the distant future and I’d need a significant amount of luck and effort to get there.

Since then, I’ve been to both Europe and Asia. It wasn’t because I was so fabulously well-off, either. I went about $2000 in debt to go to England. That money was pretty much ALL of my expenses, and I paid it off within a year.

Coincidentally (or not, depending on how you look at it), I read a blog post yesterday that specifically addressed seeing Europe on $30 a day. After I read it, I sent Adam the link saying, “After I’m done with work, maybe this is something we can do.” So, please, read it, and start picturing yourself there.

Before I went on my trip, I’d never left the continent on my own, and it’d been so long since I’d been off the continent that I felt like I may as well be going to Mars. I thought it was crazy and super adventurous. I felt like I was throwing caution to the wind. I felt like I was being selfish and irresponsible.

On the plane ride back home, I remember being astonished at myself, thinking, “What is the big deal? It’s so easy to just buy a plane ticket and go. Why did I spend so much time thinking that I couldn’t do this?”

I know that you have special health considerations. You have to be careful about things that are tough on the body. I get that, but don’t let that stop you.

That super cheap hostel travel? I totally did that, and I’m absolutely positive that spending more money would NOT have made my trip easier. That actually would have made it harder.

You know how when you go into NYC, and there are certain areas that are thronged with tourists and others are totally empty? When I see that, I often think, “Some of these people could be having a much easier, much more relaxing, and much more authentic experience if they’d just move a few blocks over.” In the thronged areas, you can see that the people are tired, confused and over-budget.

European cities are like that, too. You can make it relaxing, easy, and authentic. By far, the most uncomfortable part of my trip was the plane ride. I spent most of my nights in a hostel, in an outer borough, that was close to the tube. So, I got to be in a neighborhood that was truly London, it was quiet, it was cheaper and I got a two-person sized room to myself (with a fridge).

I never once ate at a restaurant. I got food from grocery stores, convenience stores, and occasionally, café’s. The reason I even spent as much as I did? I went to a lot of attractions. I paid to get on the London Eye, and I even went to see Mary Poppins in the London theatre, among other things, those were expensive things that I chose to do, but I didn’t necessarily need those things to have a good time.

There is a lot of walking, so just gradually up your exercise until you go, and have Mick carry the bags.

I don’t know all the details about Wolf’s functionality, but it seems like he’s at an age where he can go stay with a friend, or go to a summer camp, and his meds will get taken on time, he won’t have a mental breakdown, and his teeth probably won’t rot out of his head.

So, let go of the regret. You still have plenty of time. You’re still full of desire for and love of life. I know that you want to live, so live. Your time is now. Regret is for people who are 95 and thinking about all the stuff that they could have done, but didn’t, at 50.

Get some stamps in that passport, lady! I want to see pictures.


1 comments so far

Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM