Driving down the highway, towards the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, I watched the sunrise while feeling a mix of emotions as I headed to catch my flight on my first trip ever out of the United States (Officially- I’m not counting the time I went to Canada for an hour). The day would be long, but by the end, I’d been connecting with friends in Mexico, so the excitement was flowing; energy mixing with fear and hope for discovering something new and unfamiliar, as I dipped deeper into my discomfort zone.
Inspired by my trip last fall to Colorado for the Denver Experience, I knew I wanted to join my fellow Location Indie members on this Mexico Experience. I’d get to enjoy a mix of business development and travel adventures with many of the people I’d met last year and have the opportunity to meet new people from our community who I’d only chatted with online to that point, and who I was looking forward to connecting with in real life.
Before I left I made sure that my credit card company knew I was traveling internationally. I have the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card, and it was easy to log in to my account and click a button, letting them know. I’m working on earning miles for a free flight to Florida later in the year and planning on achieving the highly-coveted “companion pass” to allow me to fly my mom for free when we go to Arizona later this year. Yes!!! It’s crazy that it’s been less than a year since I discovered how awesome it is to travel for FREE in some cases, or cheep, by using miles. I learned it all from my favorite travel expert, Travis from his podcast and website Extra Pack of Peanuts.
I’d packed my bags and I had invested in a new lens to create images of my trip as well as getting my dollars transferred into pesos, a recommendation of travel friends, so that I’d have money without paying high transaction fees upon arrival in Queretaro, which is where I was flying into and commuting from the airport to the city center.
My hope for the trip was to connect with friends I’d met last year in Denver, meet new friends, have new experiences in a foreign place, and maybe to reignite a passion for my business development. I’ve been feeling frustrated with my progress and recently had some rejection, I was so hoping to get my motivation back.
I woke up at 3:30 a.m. so that I could journal and do a bit of yoga before getting into my car and driving down to BWI for my first plane trip of the day, flying into Houston and grabbing my flight from there to Santiago de Querétaro. The past year I’d made a habit of waking up early each day and doing some journaling including my morning pages, inspired by the book The Artist Way, and writing out gratitude for the experiences I was about to have, as well as writing out the feelings I was experiencing.
2/17 – Journal Entry
“Awake and getting ready to fly. So excited about the journey and feeling like I’m just ready to laugh and have fun. I want to stop taking life so seriously and enjoy this week. I want to explore, and invite laughter into my life, dive into what the possibilities are for me.”
I also did a short yoga video with my favorite girl, Adrianne. It’s been my morning practice every single day for the past year, and just because I was up earlier than normal didn’t mean that I’d skip my practice, I recognized that I needed to keep my habits in place every day to feel balanced. Somehow over practicing consistently, I’d developed this vital habit that I don’t feel the same if I don’t do, so I’m glad it’s how I started this travel day.
With my coffee in hand, roller bag and carry on, and light hooded jacket, I tied my hiking boots up and pulled up my hiking socks over might yoga pants. It was about 5 a.m. when I departed my home. The temperature was 14 degrees. (Fahrenheit) Yes, I was leaving my home in Central Pennsylvania, where it was cold, windy, and familiar, to venture to a place with average temperatures of 70-80 degrees, completely unknown to me, with people who spoke a language I didn’t speak, and I felt elated.