With every questionable hipster travel essential I purchase (bum bag, New Balance trainers, etc) it becomes ever more apparent that, yes, I am in fact moving away for a year. Tomorrow.
It doesn’t feel real, despite the innumerable lists of things to do I’d made, which ranged from ‘to buy in Mexico’ and ‘documents to photocopy’ (oh, if anyone knows how to micromanage, it’s me) and the one way ticket lurking in one of my many ‘Mexico folders’, which currently house all that essential, enthusiastic photocopying I’ve been doing.
But the huge, unspeakable, elephant in the room truth of it all is that truly, the less I think about it the better. It’s fucking terrifying! For every list, there remained hundreds of things not yet completed until mere days ago, like say GETTING A VISA, learning Spanish and readying my milk bottle skin for a year of unprecedented proximity to the equator. Yet instead of focusing on the importance of preparing my skin for an inevitable onslaught of aloe Vera, post sun calming balm, I did things like achieving perfection on every single level of flow free. Flow free time, flow freely through my fingers into the abyss of procrastination! In short, despite presenting an image to the social media world that suggests otherwise, I am experiencing something along the lines of year abroad denial.
It’s not yet happening to me. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m entirely conscious of the fact that it is happening – and soon – but it’s just not happening to ME, you see. It’s happening to this abstract figure who wears clothes from Urban Outfitters and owns multiple bum bags and hair garlands. It’s happening to pretentious traveller Lauren. (I.e. The person I like to pretend I already am – “I’ve been to Hong Kong you know, not sure if I’ve mentioned it” – but may actually run the risk of morphing into fo realz next year).
Fear and excitement of total reinvention, with the added intrigue of it all been undertaken in a foreign language. But let’s be real, I’ll still be the same double strap backpack wearing nerd I always have been, just with New Balance trainers and questionable tan lines.
With possible cartel connections.