1. Ambition. I want to go to all the places and do all the things. And of course I can afford it! I’ll just live on Ramen. I must read these 10 guide books, watch 14 documentaries, memorize this list of phrases, and write know all of the things.
2. Disbelief. Am I really going? I just bought nonrefundable plane tickets so I think it might really be happening. But something might happen. I’d better not get too excited or tell too many people yet.
3. Panic. Holy crap, I just bought nonrefundable plane tickets! And I have [fill in the blank #] weeks to save up enough for everything else! I have so much to do first! Do I have everything I need? Where’s my list?!
4. Practicality. Prioritize the to-do list. Pare down the packing list. One thing at a time. Breathe…
5. Panic, stage 2. Second guess everything. Unpack and repack. Add 20 things to the to-do list even though they won’t get done. Suddenly also feel compelled to reorganize the hall closet or sew a new tote bag.
6. Sadness. I’m going to miss my family, my dogs, some events, and my pillow. Oh, my pillow! I can’t buy green bananas or a loaf of bread. Maybe I should just become a hermit and never leave the house again.
7. Acceptance. I’m not going be fully prepared for all possibilities but it’ll be ok. I’ll miss things at home but I’ll experience so much while I’m gone. I didn’t get everything done on my list but we’ll all survive.
8. Excitement. This is really REALLY happening. Ready or not, here I go! Wheeee!