I'm Off.....

I am cruising along at probably 30,000 ft, somewhere over Texas, I think. It’s almost 7p, PST, which means we are close to Texas. I am flying into DFW tonight and scored a killer deal on Priceline for a room at the Wyndham hotel near the airport.

Today, I begin a journey I have been planning for so long. It almost doesn’t seem real. Yesterday was my last shift at work. I have grown to really love my job and the people I work with at Providence Milwaukie Emergency. It felt so strange to know that when I walked out the door, I wasn’t going to be coming back after a two week vacation. I’ve never just quit a job because I was going to travel. It’s always been to take a better position or because I was moving. The people of Providence hold a special place in my heart and I hope to carry on some of the mission of what we do everyday with me.

Let’s back up a bit, though. Some of you, because of my lack of blogging about this and my lack of talking about it, may not even know what I am talking about. It’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short and simple.

Three years ago, I was in an accident on my Vespa. A guy driving a BMW 740il took an illegal u-turn on a street I was traveling down. He ended up blocking both southbound lanes of traffic (the direction I was heading) and I hit him at about 25 mph. I suffered minor physical injuries in the form of a bruise the size of Delaware on my left ass cheek, which resulted in a deep bruise of my piriformis muscle that required quite a bit of acupuncture and physical therapy over about a year to get back to “normal”. I also sustained a lumbar strain and a minor closed head injury from hitting the road. To be honest, I was quite lucky I didn’t get hurt a lot worse.

This trip was one of those wake up calls for me. I like to call them the “2X4 across the forehead” moments. It’s those moments where some kind of truth is revealed or in some cases, God is saying, “Hey! Look at me! What are you doing with your life?” It became very clear to me that life is too short and I needed to do something different and chase some of those dreams I had been putting off.

I hired a lawyer because I couldn’t get a Portland Police officer to the scene of the accident to cite the driver for his obvious disregard for the law. I was scared and didn’t really know the extent of my injuries so I thought it would be a smart thing to do. It most definitely was. Last year, I finally received my settlement. I spent half and put half away with the original intent of doing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Then I started thinking, “Well, I’m already in Europe, I should go back to Italy to see the cousins.” and then, “Well, Israel isn’t that far away either.” You can see where I am going with this! J I decided to embark on an around the world trip, incorporating a Christian pilgrimage, with volunteer work and some sporadic visiting with friends I have in other countries.

So, today, after months of planning and buying of gear, I am finally embarking on the around the world pilgrimage I have dreaming about for so long. The dream is becoming a reality. I am scared. I am excited. I am nervous. I am open to whatever God brings my way.