While the rest of Knoxville was heeding the flood warning advisory and staying inside this weekend. I was standing in the post office with wet feet waiting in line to get a passport. It was kind of like a right of passage for me. I’m not going to say that it was the most exciting day of my life, but it was pretty damn exciting. I’ve been saying that this is the year I will travel. I will be 44 this year. My last child will be 18. These two events occur in the same month, within two weeks of one another.
I don’t have a trip planned. Even though they ask on the application where you are going, I don’t have a destination in mind. So I just said England. It’s one of the many places on my long list of destinations and I figured that was as good a place as any to start. Or at least to say that’s where I am going to start. My list is ridiculously long. I don’t even think I could call it a bucket list, but I can’t think of anything bigger than a bucket. A silo list? A water tower list? I have big dreams and high hopes of travels. I’ve done a little traveling here and there. I’ve been to Canada a time or two when I was much younger. I went to Jamaica on a cruise but I didn’t really explore because I didn’t have a passport and they made it seem very serious if I missed the boat, literally. So I stayed close and didn’t see much.
What prompted me to get my passport now and not much later was a contest I heard about on the radio. A travel agency is going to pick 2 strangers to travel the world together for 50 days. When I heard it, I knew I had to give it a shot. I actually put it in my head that I had already won and needed a passport before they call me to tell me. I still have to enter. It involves making a video about why I would be the perfect person. Which, to me, is the equivalent of “selling yourself” to other people. And that is one of my very weak points. If I was good at it, this blog would have a million readers a day and I would already be traveling (at least locally).
But telling people how awesome I am and why they should think I am awesome has never come easy to me. I look at other people online selling “master classes” for things they probably don’t know shit about. “How to get your life together in 10 days” while their shit is falling apart. “How to write a best selling novel” when they can’t string a sentence together. And I think, “what are they doing differently than me?” And the answer is they believe their own shit and they want someone to buy it. I don’t necessarily believe that anyone needs to read my shit. I just write because it is cheaper than therapy and it keeps me sane. Plus, I’ve convinced myself that I have early onset Alzheimer’s and I will want to remember a lot of this later. So I can just go back and read it whenever I want. I know that’s a little dark and maybe even morbid, but most truths are. Which I guess leads me to problem number two: I don’t know how to charge people for the entertainment I provide…poetry, fiction, or just my fucked up life choices. But that’s a blog for another day.
So I got a passport because in my mind, I will be traveling soon and I needed to be prepared. I’ll be making a video this afternoon to submit to this contest. I’ve enlisted the help of a younger, more creative generation to help with said video. And I’ve seen some of the other video entries so far, and I think I, at least, have a fair shot. And since confidence is half the battle, maybe I’ve already won.
My passport will arrive in 4-6 weeks. They said around April 6. The contest will reveal the winner around April 28th. So the wet feet and the soaked clothes were totally worth the price of admission to finally be able to flee the country and fly away. Even if it’s with a stranger.