My Life in 29 Boxes

My bags were more than forty five pounds overweight. Forty five. Over a third of my body weight had to disappear from two large suitcases or I would have to pay upwards of $200.00 within twenty four hours. By the time the scale told me I would not bleed money in the name of convenience, the checkered black and white duffel bag I’d brought “just in case I was little overweight,” was stuffed. It looked just as forlorn as the vacuum packs splayed across the floor that were not going to arrive with me in Miami.

As I write this I’m on a plane to Miami, Florida. Tomorrow I leave for Valencia, Venezuela. This plane ride officially marks the beginning of a dream coming to fruition: living in a Spanish-speaking country. Since eighth grade Spanish class I have wanted and worked towards the opportunity to live in a Spanish-speaking locale.

Along with knowing that I’ve wanted to live abroad for quite some time and my last name is not pronounced how it looks, those that know me also know that I can worry a lot. And cry. In public. Without shame (as I discovered Year One in NYC). I cried when leaving the Venezuelan consulate after taking care of visa paperwork and I inconveniently cried at JFK in front of a check-in kiosk (I think the man behind me wanted me to step to the side so he could keep it moving).

Today there were no tears. Anxiety, butterflies, all of that was present…but there were no saltwater rivers down the face or ripped tissue.

I take that as a good sign. I feel OK, solid even, because my support network has shown that they’re like the Rock of Gibraltar when I need them. There will be challenges and change, neither of which I’m a fan of, but I’ll try to document some of the experiences.

Regardless of what happens, what I write, and what I may discover I have learned one thing already. I am able to reduce the twenty-nine or so boxes carrying five years of my life in NYC to 100 pounds (plus a little more) for the journey ahead.

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