||Sept. 1, 1998 Departure Day - Atlanta, USA
Well, here I am, composing our first journal entry from 35,000 feet (I guess that
should be 10,700 meters) above the earth on the way to our first stop - Brussels, Belgium.
After a glass of Memossa as we waited (and waited, and waited) on the plane for take-off,
and a few glasses of wine in between "good-bye" and "can you believe
were really doing this" chit-chat with my folks and our friend TJ, the majority
of my apprehensions about the trip have transformed into both excitement and enthusiasm.
Yet, I must confess, for the few hours before, and the 40 minutes
during, the drive down to the airport, the butterflies in my stomach seemed to be much
more enthusiastic about starting our trip than I was.
The closest depiction I can use to describe that feeling is that of
thinking about, preparing for, climbing, and finally diving off of a high dive.
While your bare feet are planted firmly on the rough, but familiar concrete, your
thoughts are only of the exhilaration of doing something a little daring - a little out of
the ordinary. As you begin climbing the ladder - ever so slowly, one rung, then the next -
it begins to register with the sensible side of your brain that the worn lounge chair your
were in, and the dime store novel you were reading, wasnt that bad of a way
to spend your afternoon after all. Its too late. The best you can do is concentrate on the
mechanics of putting one foot above the other as you get closer and closer to the moment
of truth. Finally at the top of the ladder, you begin to recognize that all so familiar
feeling of doubt and hesitation. Having faced it before, you know the only way to make
yourself go through with taking the plunge is to have your just do it thoughts
drown out the no-way man thoughts. To put your muscles on auto-pilot and take
step after step, until you walk off the end - or, in this case, board flight 124 to
Brussels for one year of travel.