Jittery anxiety; nerves brimming to the top with the promise of the unknown. What was ahead? I’d seen the pictures; studied the language. Intellectually, I was a very prepared individual for this adventure I was about to embark on. Mentally? Not even close.
The rough handle of my luggage was a gentle reminder of my itching desire to do this. My unwavering curiosity and hope drove me forward as I glanced back down at the plane ticket: Machu Piccu, Peru, 1 Adult.
Adult? That’s a strange concept. I was still a kid. I never felt as if I’d crossed that gap to true adulthood, but I guess here I was, on my way to a mystical, seemingly unreal place that I’d cherished brochures and photographs of.
I could hear drums. What an odd choice of music to play at an airport; just drums. I felt blood rush to my cheeks and neck as I realized that it wasn’t music, it was my own heartbeat reverberating through my ears. I had never been so scared. Me! Scared! Hah. I was the master of adrenaline. I had skydived, rock climbed, bungee jumped, zip-lined, SCUBA dived, and para-sailed.
Yet here I was, hearing drums in my ears.
I inhaled, taking in the horribly familiar scent of fast food that airports offer. Is that what secluded life in the states meant? Great U S of A, land of freedom and opportunity. That seemed so ironic; everybody that I knew spent every day driving to work or school, stressing out, coming home, eating, and throwing themselves onto their bed to glare sleepily at a screen for three hours before passing out.
Where is the freedom there?
I exhaled, and practically broke out into a sprint towards my gate. This is what freedom was, and I wasn’t sure if there was ever any turning back.