It's t-minus zero seconds to count down! After all that preparation and anticipation I am now sitting on the bus to New York which is the first leg of my 31 hour journey to Cairo, Egypt.
For the past five days I've been adding, and mostly taking out items to my bag and packing and unpacking and repacking it over and over again. I've been fixated on making sure my bag is perfect. It's small, 38L which is traditionally considered a pack for a few days. I'm glad I got the little one though. I knew I wanted to travel light and it forced me to really restrict what I packed to the necessities, as well as being super organized. I have little labeled bags for electronics, shower stuff, first aid, that all fit in the nooks and crannies of my pack. I packed two pairs of pants, a skirt, a handful of tops, bathing suit, a handful of underwear, 2 pairs of a shoes, and a few cosmetic odds and ends. That's basically it. I am finally quite pleased with my pack, considering it's basically my home for the next 4 months.
On top of packing and unpacking my bag I've spent the last week running around like a crazy person. I was too busy moving to even realize how emotional I was feeling about leaving behind everything and everyone that I love and is familiar to me. Until the hair incident. I made a last minute appointment to get my haircut on Wednesday because I realized I might not have the opportunity over the next few months. I am pretty unpicky about my hair and usually just give limited directions to the hair stylist and let them do their job. For the most part, they've certainly known best. The woman who cut my hair on Wednesday did not know best. After cutting about 4 inches off my hair into a style that was fit for any soccer mom in the '90s, I left the salon knowing it wasn't at all what I wanted, but not giving it much thought. I had too much on my mind anyway.
Then comes Friday. Friday morning I sat down and made all the hotel and hostel bookings I'll need in Egypt until I fly to Jordan on the 7th of July. I printed out extra copies of all my bus, flight and hotel reservations, checked again to make sure I had everything packed that I needed and then sat back for five seconds to take in the idea that I was ready. One breath. Two breaths. Three breaths, and tears as I looked in the mirror and noticed my haircut was terrible!
I went downstairs crying to my mom about how bad it looked. She just stared at me in disbelief. I have certainly had more disastrous haircuts in the past including when I traded my waist length hair for a stylish bob that, to be honest, really resembled more of a mullet.
"This is not about the hair is it?"
"God, Mom! It IS about the hair! Obvioiusly!" I told her in a teenage angsty voice I thought I'd left behind years ago (or at least should've!).
It wasn't about the hair. The hair was bad, but in those few minutes I had to breathe it all just caught up with me. I was so excited about where I was going that until then I'd forgotten what I was leaving. I know it's not forever, and technology has made communicaton so much easier but I'll still miss everyone and the city too, which has been my home for the last six years. I think that's a good thing though. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, for one, but also having people to miss makes me realize what a wonderful time these past six years have actually been.
So I cried a little bit and then I got my hair re-cut even though it wasn't even about the hair. Mostly.