• Violet

Be The Woman Who Went For It

Updated: Apr 15


I had envisioned this exact image for over a year.


Me standing there looking at these beautiful, blue green waters. My toes squished deep into the yummy, soft sand. The warm sun pouring all over me. Looking back I had pictured it so vividly. I journaled and fantasied about it. It felt like it was real.. and then one day, it was.



5 Months Earlier...


Me: I'm doing it!!! I finally saved enough money and I'm going for it. I'm booking my dream trip.


Him: Where to?!


Me: Thailand. I don't know why I'm so drawn to it.. but I know I need to go. So, wanna come?


Him: Sounds fun! Why not, let's do it.



Actions Speak Louder Than Words


Injection Nurse: And last one.. Typhoid. Check. You're all set Miss Lopez. Have a wonderful time on your trip!!


I had done everything "right". I had paid for my flight, checked the annoying request to add on insurance to be extra safe, gotten all my travel shots and had booked two excursions. I needed to book a hotel but I thought we'd do that... together.


The months went on and our relationship progressed. Or so I thought.



2 Weeks Before Departure


We sat on the 1950's couch of his grandmothers house. Facing the old tv screen and not at each other, I asked him to pause.


Him: I'm watching the game.


Me: That's nice, and you can pause the game. It's not going anywhere.


Him: Ok, what's up?


Me: I'm ready to go in two weeks. Are you coming? It's fine either way, no pressure, but I need to know.


Him: I'd like to but I'm not sure yet. I'll look into flights tomorrow.


Me: I smiled and sure, "Sure". But the only thing I was sure of in that moment was of myself and somehow that was: enough.


I wrapped up dinner and headed home. I left and knew he wasn't coming. I allowed myself to feel sad and rejected for a good hour. I kept thinking how simple it would've been had he been straight with me versus being so wishy-washy and I realized it was a huge turn-off.


In fact, he had been the same unreliable and wishy-washy person the whole time and I decided I wanted nothing to do with him anymore. Certainty in a person and the ability to make a decision and stick to their word showed commitment and respect. The fact that he lacked it made me lack wanting to do more with him. Some decisions are difficult to make but somehow this made it easy for me.


When I got home, I took a hot shower and hopped in bed. Looking at my phone under my bedsheets I searched "freedom" and a girl sitting on the beach with a coconut in her hand popped up.


"This will be me in two weeks exactly."


Boarding Time: Dec 23, 2014




I found my seat and stretched a bit before I prepared to be strapped in for the next long flight. I mentally waved goodbye to SFO and the guy... and the plane took off. Before I turned my phone off, it buzzed.


Him: Dinner tonight?


Me: Hah, is he serious? "No thank you." I'm sure I rolled my eyes and powered the phone off.



First Layover: Misery


I was exhausted and just like the relationship we had, the flight was so darn turbulent.


The plane stopped in Wuhan, China and my next flight was delayed. As I made my way to the terminal, I felt like I was in a rude race. So many pushed and shoved and I wondered if this was normal. Maybe it was the cold and they wanted to get in? I didn't get it.


For 12 long hours I waited in the freezing cold airport. Every hour I set a timer to get up and run my hands under hot water to keep myself awake. It was December and I couldn't sleep in the airport. After all I was a young woman, alone, in a completely foreign country and all nearby hotels were full. Trust me, I asked. I did not speak the language and the few phrases I learned had gone out the window. I was starving and unlike America, not all airports have food available 24/7. Lesson learned.


Eventually 5 am came around and one restaurant opened up. I pointed to order what looked like a sandwich and after paying what felt like a million yuan and scarfing it down, I ran to get in line. I'll never forget walking out of the Wuhan airport with the icy cold air smacking me in the face as I walked up the plane steps. Get me outta here!


Second Layover: Hollywood?



Instead of a direct flight, due to weather, we were forced to stop in Shenzhen, a couple hours away. This time, I felt like I had landed in a familiar place. As I stepped into the airport, it felt like I had arrived in the Hollywood version of China. Where the heck am I? It was gorgeous, the art and billboards were enormous and the people were thankfully patient, kind, so helpful and so darn stylish! I loved it. Most importantly, this airport had heating.. Thank God!!


I'll never forget coming up the escalator to exchange money so I could grab a coffee and wait for my next flight. Immediately I was blinded as a few kids pointed and smiled so big. I'll never forget the little one as he smiled through missing teeth. Their teen brother quickly snapped a bunch of pictures with his camera. Flash, Flash, Flash! I never felt more like a zoo animal.. or like Britney Spears. Their father quickly snatched the camera and scolded them. Then in the most perfect British accent said, "So sorry, my kids have never seen someone look like you. They've lived here their whole life." I smiled and kept walking. I still wonder where those photos ended up.


Final Stop


The last 24 hours had felt like such a blur but somehow I finally found myself in a warm pretty plane on my way to Thailand. I allowed myself to finally close my eyes and rest. It had felt like the longest trip of my life but I kept telling myself. "You're almost there. Hang on. It will be worth it."


Arrival


After endless sleep, I woke up feeling less like a zombie. We were landing and as we lifted our blinds, bright sun poured in. As we stepped off the plane, I immediately felt overwhelming happiness. I f'n made it!!


I knew exactly what area I was heading to. In case my phone died, I had also written down the exact directions. At least 14 men approached me and grabbed at me and my suitcase to enter their taxi. My gut said, nope. I struggled to pick one and finally I saw a kid in a yellow Jersey. He must've been 14 but I felt safe with him. I waved him down and hopped in his beat up taxi. Off we went and through the countryside roads I saw endless tall grass. Eventually we made it to what I called "the tip of Thailand".


I hopped off, checked into my hotel, grabbed my hat and walked to the beach. I was on a mission. I saw a guy chopping coconuts so he cut one up for me and popped in a straw. The best .50 cents I've event spent and continued on my path. Eventually I made it. I could almost cry, but instead I grabbed my notebook and wrote this down:


"Always go for it, even if you're afraid and alone."



I had envisioned this exact image for over a year.


Me standing there looking at these beautiful, blue green waters. My toes squished deep into the yummy, soft sand. The warm sun pouring all over me. Looking back I had pictured it so vividly. I journaled and fantasied about it. It felt like it was real.. and then one day, it was.


I had made my dream come true. It wasn't exactly what I had envisioned but in that moment I felt so powerful and independent. I was so far away from home, but I also felt so free. My happiness did not depend on a temporary person. I had done it all by myself. I had made it happen. I had committed to my dream and it had manifested.



My phone buzzed on my sandy towel:


Him: Where are you?


Me: No words, just a picture:





Him: I can't believe you actually left.


Me. Shuts phone off. I can't believe I didn't leave sooner.



xoxo,

Mrs. O.


































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