Last summer I thought I was dying.
My dad had just had a stroke, I'd driven from North Carolina to Pittsburgh with Little J and about 2 hours of sleep. I'd also neglected to eat for several days and had so much coffee in my system, my blood stream was probably brown. So it should come as no shock that I ended up having a massive panic attack.
Up until that point in my life, I'd never had a panic attack. In fact, if I'm being honest, I thought they were a bit silly. What on earth could be so bad, that it would cause your stress to physically manifest itself in the form of a panic attack?
But then that summer came and blindsided me.
It began early on. One thing after the other. So fast, and so quick that I didn't have time to recover before the next hit came. When I got the call that my dad was in the hospital, that's when it all came crashing down.
As I lay there on the floor of my dad's truck, struggling to breathe and losing consciousness, the one thing I recall saying over and over again, is that I wasn't ready to go. And despite the very calm EMT's who loaded me into the back of the ambulance, all the while assuring me that I wasn't dying, I spent several months thinking that there was something wrong with me that the doctor's missed. And it turns out there was, it just wasn't fatal.
The thing about thinking that you're dying, is that after you've discovered that you haven't died, you have this urge to do all the things. That's why Chicago happened. It was so out of the blue and so unordinary for me. I'm typically a serial planner but perpetual dreamer. I plan, and plan, but never do. Last summer was a wake up call.
Shortly after my panic attack, I planned a one-day trip to Chicago. I managed to snag a roundtrip ticket for $30, and had always wanted to see the Windy City, so I did. I went back a month or so later with Mr. A. Then I went to Philly, Asheville, Myrtle Beach and a few other local travel destinations here and there. The final leg of 2015 was pretty travel heavy, but I didn't have the opportunity to travel internationally. And I plan to change that.
After too many years of collecting dust I recently sent off to renew my passport. It's been so long since I've traveled internationally, I'm almost afraid that I've forgotten how. But last summer was a reminder that life is too short to not see everything while you can. So I'm planning on adding a few more stamps to my passport collection.
My first destination?
I've always felt that Iceland was a little bit underrated. At least for me. Everyone wants to go to these beautiful tropical destinations, meanwhile, I want to go somewhere a bit off the beaten path.
Iceland is one of those amazing countries that people tend to forget about, but seems like it would be incredible to explore. So it's at the top of my list.
I'm hoping that this blog keeps me more accountable. At least twice a month, I want to do a budget recap, travel tips, and steps that I am taking to get us to Iceland. My goal is to have us there before 2017, but depending on weather conditions and life's ability to destroy even the sturdiest of plans, I'm not going to set a firm date until we get our savings well under way.
Be sure to tune in every once and a while to see how the planning is going. Who knows, maybe you'll join me on my journey to Iceland.
My final piece of advice? Please don't wait until you think you're taking your last breath to decide you want to live. Life is so fleeting, but it's so incredibly beautiful. Take it all in while you have the chance.
Until next time,