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North America » United States » Kansas » Lawrence
May 26th 2011
Published: May 27th 2011
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I haven’t really thought this trip through as much as I have others. I just don’t feel as if I am fully prepared for the adventure. For example, Sunday night as I began to feel daunted by the errands and packing I had some twelve hours to accomplish, I of course stopped doing what needed to be done and called a friend. His attempt to encourage me demonstrates my state of mind: “Well Erika, all you really need is your passport, right? And you have that.” At which point I had to get up from the bed upon which I had decided to deposit my daunted self and add ‘passport’ to the list.

Then I went to bed.

I was a bit wound up the next day, complete with timed schedule of things to do, but I finished my tasks. By 8pm I finally put the items from the list into luggage –it fit, weighed a decent amount, and contained my passport. Phew. By this time, I realized that I hadn’t prepared myself mentally either. I had dropped off my truck with my parents and was subsequently reminded that I would be re-entering the world of prolific, negotiable, public transportation; a world of bartering, squeezing beside other warm bodies (like mine would be, too), long, possibly life-appreciating car rides, and twisted hips to accommodate more passengers. Those thoughts led to hot street food, lively markets, foreign tongues (which I hope to know!), bright sun on old buildings, new birds, plants, environments… But also efforts to understand and be understood, to appear to know what I’m doing when in reality I do not, and otherwise become accustomed to being out of my pocket of the familiar and known. I have not recalled everything I should –I will be surprised by something.

I have an eleven hour lay-over in Lisbon, Portugal. I would like to tour a castle and a good pastry café, but my objectives are to find a bird book and have une tasse de café, and a pastry, of course. The country of Portugal speaking none of the languages with which I am familiar, it should be my best challenge. Maybe after Lisbon, Morocco and Casablanca will be relatively easy, since I am at least familiar with the languages used there.

Despite my lack of preparedness, my intentions are clear to me. I want to learn Arabic. Perhaps that’s why I’m not thinking of travel –because to me I’m taking another class, it just takes longer to get to it. I don’t know, yet, what Arabic will do for me, except that it opens up another part of the world with people with whom I will be able to communicate. I am thrilled.

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30th May 2011

Hi
Yay for travel blog!!! Keep 'em coming!
2nd June 2011

What an adventure!
Can't wait to learn about Morocco through your experience! Yes, please keep 'em coming!

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