Sarah's Gap Year travel blog

Goodbye Danville!

Goodbye California!!

My first hotel all to myself.

My last dinner in America for six months!

At 3:15 am this morning I was wide awake and full of excitement. I couldn't wait to get to the airport and get on my way! All morning I was singing goodbyes to everything I owned. "Goodbye bed, goodbye bed, goodbye bed, I'll see you in six months"... I did this with pretty much everything I saw. As we drove to the airport the only thing I could think about was how I just wanted to be in Africa!!

Then, all of a sudden we were at the airport and I was saying goodbye to my brother, going through security, and saying goodbye to my parents. It was very emotional to say goodbye knowing that I wouldn't see much of them for the next six months. We all cried (and got weird looks from the other people in the airport because we were all crying but I was only getting on a flight to Arizona...) and then I boarded my flight and was off!

Through the flight to Arizona and from Arizona to New York I experienced a wide range of emotions. There were times where I was bouncing off the walls excited, then the next minute I would be close to tears thinking about everyone I'm not going to see for half a year. But I still wasn't nervous or scared... until I got to New York. Suddenly I had to get my bags, find the airtrain, find the hotel shuttle, and check into the hotel. As I was doing all of that, I had a moment of realization that I was on my own for six months-that I had to figure everything out on my own from now on. I got a little overwhelmed and emotional, but then I got to my hotel room.

When I fell onto my bed, I thought I was going to burst into tears from all the emotions, but I didn't. In fact, I felt satisfied and self sufficient. I made it through the first step, and that made me feel like I could make it through every step yet to come.

Now, I'm sitting in New York City in a hotel room eating my delivery food and thinking about the six months ahead. I am obviously still a little emotional- I can't help but acknowledge the fact that I'm going to miss my family so much- but I also feel like I can do this. I have spent a year planning this trip, and it's time for me to turn it into a reality. I still am in total disbelief- there's no way I am doing this trip already! There's no way I am DOING THIS!! There's NO WAY -- well, you get the picture. I know I am about to have the time of my life and I am so excited. And the emotions I'm feeling have only made me more ready to be in South Africa and starting my adventure rather than sitting in a tiny hotel room eating Chinese food.

Now, I am going to try to go to sleep (even though my body thinks it's 8pm, my clock says 11pm, so I should head that way...) And I'm sure I will have trouble sleeping as I will be both shedding tears and shaking with excitement all night long. And in just 12 hours I will be boarding my flight and going straight to Johannesburg! Then, maybe, it will finally feel real.

So goodnight and I hope to get a chance to update you all from Johannesburg. Thank you all for the warm wishes and for following my trip!

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