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How Did I Get Here?

Well, before I can tell you how I got here you need to know how I got there.

On Loch Ness in Scotland.I remember sitting in the Berry Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport and seeing the sign in the departure lounge that said London. British Airways flight 202, Detroit Metro to London Heathrow. "This is my flight. I’m actually going abroad!"

The terminal looked like it should be in Beirut. I mean, the duty free shop wasn’t even open. Actually, nothing was open and it looked like this terminal hadn’t been used in years. My flight was the one lonely flight leaving the terminal. It was a ghost town.

Trinity College, DublinBut each time I looked up at that sign, I smiled. “I’m on my way to London! Me. I’m going to the UK for 5 weeks.” Seriously? Even though I was 33, I felt like a giddy schoolgirl going on her first date. How did this happen? How did I get here?

I moved from Chicago to metro Detroit in September of 1999. And, as I mentioned before, I didn’t really get out of my circle. Bloomfield, Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Troy, Birmingham.

In early December of 2002, I talked with some of my friends about this. Or, actually, they told me that I don’t really go anywhere. I was in a rut.

Then I went to a lavish Christmas party. At the party there was a Motown band, Santa Claus, Suzy Snowflake, and psychics. Actually, there were four psychics offering readings.

I got a reading from all four of the psychics. Two of them mentioned my lack of going anywhere, that I didn’t venture far from home. I know, they could have said this to anyone, but they said it to me. And I was already thinking it myself.

The last nudge I needed happened on New Years Eve 2002. An older friend of mine, who didn’t know me very well, also mentioned that I should travel. Of course, he meant New York City, but it put the wheels in motion.

The next day I made my New Years Resolution for 2003: I needed to go somewhere. I immediately started researching online. I had decided to go to the UK & Dublin for 3 weeks. There were so many cities I wanted to see and so much I wanted to experience, I didn’t know if I would ever get to do this again. This was a once in a lifetime trip.

Picadilly Circus, LondonI finally figured out that I couldn’t fit all of my chosen destinations into 3 weeks. "Ok, maybe I’ll go for 4 weeks," I thought. I told this to my parents and my dad's reaction was, “Your life is a vacation! Why do you need a 4 week vacation?” That sealed my fate.

I went back to the computer and bought the ticket. Five weeks it is, then!

That was January 16, 2003. My trip was scheduled for March 25 to April 29th. It may take me forever to make a decision but when I do, I make it happen.

I looked at that sign that said London one last time before boarding the plane. I still couldn’t believe that I was going on this fantastic vacation.

What I didn’t realize then was that any decision you make, whether big or small, can change the course of your life.

I didn’t know that I would never see my Grandma alive again. Or, that I would meet the man I would fall in love with and eventually marry. The course of my life changed as soon as I stepped on that plane.

Read Part II in this series: The Most Expensive Pub Crawl: UK & Dublin

Read Part III in this series: How I Met My Husband


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Reader Comments (3)

Oh yeah, that "your life is a vacation" crack is the kind of thing my dad might say...and your reaction to that is probably something like my reaction might be :lol:

Well...aren't you glad you decided to take a "vacation"?

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Sorry to hear about your grandma. I haven't traveled much and I am on the edge of turning 33. It is from the lack of funds from not traveling more. I have been to England in 1995. It was a great 10 days but I was 18. I wonder how different it would be when I was adult and not on a band trip.

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

Yes, I'm very happy I decided to take a vacation! And very happy I decided to go for 5 weeks.!

Thank you for the thoughts about my Grandma. I didn't have any funds saved when I planned my trip but I did have a job that I work my ass off for a few months and make enough. I recommend traveling to everyone!

I think you would find England completely different now than when you were a teen (and on a band trip).

August 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

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