“A year? What will you do?” People asked so many logical questions when hearing about my leave of absence. And – I’ve had limited answers for the “where are you going” and “what are you going to do” small talk. For the last three years, it was hard to even dream about specific destinations while working, working, and working to save the funds to make it happen, so I decided to choose a starting point and let the rest of the journey unfold. Booking a ticket to the Canary Islands served as a gateway to flexibility for further travel in either Africa or the Middle East. From this restful spot, it’s easy to get anywhere.
Plus, it sounds so exotic, right?
But, here I am. It’s my seventeenth day in Tenerife, and it is the first one where I am starting to feel like I have a bit of life in me – and am not just forcing myself to be out and about. My sleep has been more on than off – and I’ve been okay with spending lots of time in my tiny hotel room – just reading and watching some Netflix. My hair’s been kind of greasy – and my pajamas have been my best friend. I’ve worn my black $10 Walmart dress for just about every single trek outside of my room without a desire to plan for more. I have been relatively invisible here. Most people would say that I probably could have done these exact same things at home…which is true.
In reality, after years of running and a summer of decadence and fun, my time in Tenerife was purposefully filled with a mental and physical detox. I felt tired and unsettled with my physical fitness and self care. Knowing that it would be hard to connect with others in this state, there seemed to be value in taking time to recharge the strained pieces of my heart and mind. Usually, a calendar and daily flow of life dictate my actions. Instead, I created a daily plan that included drinking more water, working out, and eating in ways that prepare me for a rigorous year in unfamiliar places.
So, today, my hair is clean. I am dressed in something different. I am feeling ready for what comes next. In eight days, I will leave for Ghana after enjoying a short visit in Tenerife with my aunt, Bones.
The unknown excites me and there is a lot of that to come. Glad to have my partners at home to share the journey on my blog. Thanks for joining the fun! While I still don’t have answers to the questions, I am one step closer to finding the answers on this journey.