It was 7am and we arrived at the Orlando Airport. I looked at my feet and the bags surrounding them. I wanted to ensure I was still planted to the ground. Along with the weightless, free spirited sensation came another feeling. A huge weight dropped from my heart and shoulders. This was the kind of feeling that makes you shudder.
That weight of “home” fell away. I had the feeling that I finally bid Orlando adieu. It was nice knowing you. We had many highs and lows, but I don’t regret a minute.
Then I looked up and realized we still had to say goodbye to my sister. My emotional rock. Like Amauri, my family is very important to me. How was I going to do this? I used the tactic I always used, I avoided thinking about it too much. Amauri taught me an important lesson that a family can be anywhere in the world and still be close. He is closer to his family than anyone I know, and they live in 3 different continents. I can do this.
Amauri and I hugged her tightly, told her we loved her, and walked away. About 10 ft later, I had to stop and take a deep breath. It was time.
As for my friends, the reality of them moving forward brings me great peace. Many are in those mid-stream life experiences, some getting married, some having babies, some venturing to new careers. I am pleased to see them branching into exciting new phases, some personal; some professional. With so many of them becoming hip to programs like Skype and Facetime, connection wouldn’t be as difficult as it was in the past.
Amauri and I always knew Orlando wasn’t where we belonged. In a few days, we are going to try with all our might to plant our stakes in foreign land. The plans are cemented for September, me attending TEFL school and Amauri researching language schools, but after that, it’s an unmanned ship.
In the weeks we’ve had leading up to this challenge, we have felt renewed. We’ve had some time to disconnect- no TV, no cell phones, no stress of work, and plenty of time to reaffirm what we want to accomplish. Our nerves are crackling, our traveling soul is ready for the fancy footwork, and we are ready to send the world a solid right hook. (Too cheesy? Get used to it.)