I have traveled out of the country twice.
The first time was with my parents. We went to Tijuana, Mexico, when I was 8 during a vacation to California. My mom loved saying Mexico in Spanish. “MAY-hee-ko,” she said over and over again. She also loved the thrill of haggling down the prices as we shopped at tiendas. There was a candy store that I wanted to go into. My parents wouldn’t allow it, because bees were buzzing around the candy in the store. The candies were so pretty, I didn’t care about a little bee or two. My concerns at 8 were a bit different than they are now.
My friend Mindy and I road tripped from Rochester, Minnesota, to Winnipeg, Canada, when I was 17. Unbeknownst to us when we decided to go there, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival was going on. There were vendors and performers about downtown. Drinks were being served outdoors.
It was the mid-90s. I remember wearing tons of black eyeliner thinking that if I looked like a heroin addict, who would care that I was ordering a drink at the bar underage? The heroin epidemic was making the covers of magazines at the time. Long Island Iced Teas were my drink of choice in Winnipeg, because of the name. Anything to do with anything New York appealed to me.
We hung out with guy who was selling blankets, bracelets, and the like from Guatemala. At least, I think that’s the country his wares were from. He was tall, skinny, and pale. Mindy, who is now a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, felt confident we could overpower him if necessary. I still have the bracelet from his cart. Whether he gave one to Mindy and one to me, or I bought it – I cannot recall.
Time for Travel Goals
It’s been 24 years since I’ve traveled outside of the United States. When I was a teen, I wanted to be a world traveler. I think it’s about time to start working toward that dream.
4 hours is the longest I’ve been on a flight. Flying is often tense for me. I developed an anxiety disorder and suffered many panic attacks in my early 20s, some of which involved flying.
I think the right plan of action will be taking Baby Steps like Bob does in What About Bob?
Goal: Travel to France
Baby Step 1: Learn French. It might be fun to join a French Club like Alliance Francaise.
Baby Step 2: Get a passport.
Baby Step 3: Travel to Montreal. It is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world and the flight there is short.
Baby Step 4: Travel to France.
The Tentative Timeline
I can start practicing and learning French today. Paperwork is something I dread (silly, I know), so I will set myself the goal of completing the passport application process by June 1st.
While I wait to get through my baby steps to France, I can give cooking French foods a go and read fun books like How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are.
That way, I can work towards feeling comfortable traveling to a city
Begin to work towards something like learning French, getting a passport, getting an enhance drivers license.Maybe see about joining a French Club. Cooking French Food like doing recipes from the French Women Don’t Get Fat.
This post is part of a series inspired by Eat Pray Love.