Taking the Leap

Life is funny. You can think you’ve gotten it all figured out – you know where you’re going and you know what you want…and then suddenly it’s all ripped out from under your feet. The proverbial rug of the future is suddenly rolled up into a giant ball, thrown over your left shoulder for good luck, and you find yourself standing on a dusty floor that looked completely different just a few months ago.

At least, that’s how my life has been recently.  This is not meant to be a sad post, but some things must be said in order for you to better understand my reasoning, my rash decision, the support I’m receiving from those I love, and what I have planned for my future.

Dad.

dad

One word, so many meanings. Dad. Best friend. Confidant. Joker. Comfort. Unbreakable. Invincible.  Forever.

Gone.

One word, so many meanings. Gone. Missing. Away. Silent. Lost. Scared. Unsure. Frightened. Changed.

Dad. Gone. – Trust me, I didn’t think that at 27 I’d be combining these two words together…but so is life.  My Dad passed away suddenly on December 16th, 2015 – and everything that I thought I knew came crashing down on me in one day.  Dad was the bright star in my life.  Dad would answer my phone calls in the middle of the day.  Dad always wanted to be with his family.  Dad collected people and not things. Dad loved adventure.

Dad always wanted to go to Costa Rica. Dad passed away before he had the chance. Thus, my story begins.

I’ve always been a bit of a wanderlust.  At 22, I packed my bags and headed for a whirlwind trip to Europe for my first solo trip.  I learned a lot of independence through those adventures, and I also learned how much I am blessed in my life back home.

I have the most supportive boyfriend, Brad, in the whole wide world.  I truly believe that, because what type of man would support his girlfriend packing her bags for foreign countries…for four months? The type of man that I want to call mine.  The type of man that I want to love as much as he loves me. The type of man that I look at every single day, and wonder how I got so lucky. The type of man who not only understands your need to take this hasty trip, but will hold your hand for parts of it (see you in Paris, Brad!). That type of man.

Brad

I have the most supportive family in the whole wide world.  I truly believe that, because what type of family would support your decision to leave your job (which you love), and leave your home to traverse other continents for four months? The type of family that would stand behind your insanity and let you pursue your dreams, even when they don’t agree with them.  The type of family that will meet you on your travels (see you in Germany, Mom!). The type of family that loves you for who you are, flaws and all. That type of family.

(My brother proofread this last night and demanded a shout out – Hi, Chris).

Mom

I have the most supportive friends in the whole wide world. I truly believe that, because what type of friends would be there for you in both your brightest days and your darkest? The type of friends that help you plan what to pack in your backpack when you can only carry 14lbs. The type of friends that will listen to you time and time again as you repeat your plans for reassurance that you can and will succeed. The type of friends that will not only back your insane plan, but join you for parts of it (see you in Costa Rica, Grebe!). Those type of friends.

grebe

…and so my travels begin.  I leave for Costa Rica on March 30th, where I’ll be joined by my best friend, Alyssa.  We became friends while in college, but are from different parts of the states, and chose different locations to continue our 20’s.  We’ve gotten to spend 72 hours together at one time in the last 5 years…after spending roughly 6 nights a week together while at school.  It’s going to be an adventure, a memory, a challenge, and a dream to spend all those days with her.  Alyssa, if (and I mean when, because if you don’t discuss this post with me I will personally hold it against you) you read this, I want you to know that there is no other person in the world I’d rather begin my journey with! I’ll see you in the terminal.

Over the next week and a half, I’m going to update my packing list on this blog.  Then I’ll edit my packing list.  Then I’ll probably second guess my edited list, go back to my original, continue to edit, and have a mild freak out about what I’ve chosen to bring with me. Then I’ll board a plane and show you a whole new world.  Pretty much like Aladdin and Jasmine, except with a lot less singing, no tiger, no genie, and no flying carpet. I will however try to find a monkey on my journeys.

So there you have it. If you made it through this rambling post, you can make it through anything. I’ll be heading to Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Gordon Goes Global – come with me?

 

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17 thoughts on “Taking the Leap

  1. I wish you a fantastic journey. I think you were always a free spirit. I love you. Thank goodness you will be back in time for my birthday. Safe travels 😘

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  2. It was a long post but very touching. Wish you all the best on your travels and if you happen to make it back to Ireland again let me know. Best of luck I’ll keep an eye on Ur progress 😊

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    1. I knew it was a bit lengthy when I finished it, but a lot needed to be said for the first post. They won’t always be so bad, I promise! I’ll definitely let you know if I make my way to Ireland again!

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  3. I can’t wait to see your journey and read your blog. I’m glad you’re able to take this time out to find yourself again, and to make the journey your pops wasn’t able to make. I’ll be living vicariously through you when I read this, so I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures. Love you girl. Safe travels love. ❤❤❤

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  4. Cheers to you on this awesome adventure, Alex!! As you know, I can somewhat relate and I am 100% down to meet you at any of your destinations! Reading your post made me realize the motivation behind all the trips I’ve been going on lately. Life is so short. You have to live it while you can! Love you and I can’t wait to continue reading your blog!! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Megan! Sometimes we just have to be reminded of the beauty in the world! I’d love for you to join me, and I have some destinations in mind that you may love! I’ll send you a text!

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  5. I had a really long, well thought, heartfelt comment typed out and then I somehow clicked a random link and lost it >:O soo you’re getting the short version, sorrry ❤
    It isn't crazy at all! After Ryan, all I wanted to do was leave and travel and hopefully find out some shit about myself, (That's what people say, right? Traveling helps you find yourself? idk I read a quote about it once) but I was too scared of all the risks involved – money, panic attacks, unknown territory, etc. I think what you are doing is incredibly brave and will be immensely helpful and therapeutic. Actually the way you're dealing with all of this is pretty amazing. I texted Megan earlier about meeting you somewhere and apparently y'all have already talked about it haha sooo maybe see you in Thailand?
    xoxoxo GLittle

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    1. I know how hard losing Ryan was for both you and Meg. Losing my Dad has been the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced…but that’s how life works. Everything is only temporary, pain, loss, sadness, happiness, excitement – those feelings can be so strong, and while they can always be present, they aren’t always as strong. I read an article that described grieving like being in the ocean during a storm. At first, the waves hit you from every single direction and you can barely catch your breath. Slowly, the storm softens as do the waves. They still hit you, but not as hard and not as often. Then, the storm leaves. You are still in the water, and sometimes a wave will come and hit you and you’ll go under…but then you can break the surface again. Idk why but I found so much comfort in that. I can only hope to find out more about myself and what I can handle on this trip.

      On a separate note, I really hope you and Megan join. It’ll be great to see you both, and it’ll be even greater to go on a part of this voyage with you two by my side! Love you, glittle! Look at flights!

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  6. I’m so so happy for you, Alex! This is amazing. I hope your adventures bring you peace and fulfillment and whatever else you seek. Safe travels 💚 See you in Thailand perhaps? Haha

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