Four years ago, my employer started putting 20% of my pay aside so I could take a 4-over-5 (sabbatical) in 2018. Well it’s finally here. January 1, 2018. This will be my epic year of travel!

Why Am I So Stressed?

Although I’m super excited, I didn’t expect to feel this much STRESS! How can I be stressed? For the next 365 days I don’t have to think about work. The only thing I have to worry about is being content and doing what I love. And yet, my stomach is in knots, and my TMD is acting up. The clenching and grinding of my teeth is so bad I now have a tiny crack in my front tooth! To make matters worse, I leave for my first trip in a few days, and the dentist can’t fix it until I get back in February. Please wish me luck that my night guard will protect me from chipping it in my sleep while I’m away (I packed crazy glue just in case).

I’ve always said, it’s those crappy misadventures that you can laugh at later and it’s what makes a trip memorable. I have to remember to laugh at myself and not get all up in my own head. So this blog will do double duty to keep me accountable and remind me to laugh at myself more.

Listening To My Heart

I decided to really listen to my heart this year. One of the trips I booked is a cruise from Germany to Norway, Iceland and Scotland in July. Sounds awesome right? So why am I not excited about it? I haven’t done a second of research (so unlike me!). I haven’t done any research because the plain truth of the matter is that the trip just isn’t singing to me. Maybe because I LOVE a challenge and there is absolutely nothing challenging about sailing on a luxury ship (I booked a private cabin with a balcony) and feasting all day long on gourmet food. It just isn’t “me”. So I’m cancelling it tomorrow. I will replace it with something physical, I want to set goals. So I’m eyeing a 3-week hiking and fitness retreat in Vermont instead.

In listening to my heart, I really want to focus on my well-being this year. I want to learn how to deal with stress. I want to go to the gym every day, or get out there and walk. Why would I lounge on a cruise ship and gain 10 pounds when I can hike in the mountains and lose ten pounds? Those net 20 pounds are going to be critical in August (details coming soon!).

You’d Think I’d Be Good At This By Now

So here we are, a few days before I leave for my trip to Antarctica. I’ll be stopping for 3 days in Miami on my way there (to build in some contingency in the event of weather delays and frankly to warm up). So the dilemma is, how do I pack for an entire month, and make sure I have the right clothes for 27c in Miami, 7c in Ushuaia, and -7C in Antarctica? (that’s right, it’s summer in Antarctica right now). LATAM only allows for 8kg for my carryon, and 23kgs for my checked bag.

having travelled as much as I have, you’d think I would be good at packing by now. But I’m not. I suck at it. I can guarantee, no matter how much I edit, and how carefully I choose, there will be 2 or 3 things that will never get worn, and 2 or 3 things I will wear constantly.

Thank God I dumped my DSLR and all the heavy gear that went with it. Still, my Olympus OM-D EM5 is quite the handful when you add up all the lenses and filters. I tried really hard to limit myself to just 2 lenses, leaving the wide angle behind, but I gave my head a shake this morning. How the hell can I take epic iceberg photos without a wide angle?? See, this is why I start packing at least 3 days before any trip.

I feel myself getting stressed again….sigh.

See You in Miami!

I have no idea what I will do in Miami. Frankly, I think I will be bored to tears. The weather forecast predicts -18c here in Toronto the day I leave, and just 18c and sunny in Miami. But to me, that is IDEAL! I would much rather tour the city at 18 degrees.



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Comments 8

  1. Wow, your year is here!! I’ll be following you on your blog and loving your photos along the way. Best of travels, health, fun, the works!

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  2. You’ve got this!!
    Don’t have it … buy or acquire it enroute. Don’t need it …donate or otherwise get rid of it along the way! Dragging along too much “stuff” will inhibit your freedom 😃. It’s an adventure … … all the planning will more than likely go out the door as unexpected events unfold along the way! Quiet your mind and enjoy the ride!
    I am so excited for you!

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