Packing Up

Amelia Wohlers - Ecuador


August 27, 2016

Whenever I think of Ecuador in the abstract, it feels manageable. I am
excited by the idea of it and while I can foresee challenges, none are so
large that I will be unable to tackle them. However, when Ecuador leaves
the abstraction of thought and enters the reality through packing, it is as
if I am facing an impossible mountain whose landscape could never be
traversed. There is currently an empty bag in my room that is about the
same size as me. However, it seems to fill my entire house with a void of
anxiety that is prepared to consume everything around me. Its vomit green
color matches how I feel every time I attempt to pack something into it.
Thus far, its only contents are other, smaller bags. I thought that smaller
spaces would be easier to fill,  yet the weight of deciding what to bring
is still too much to think about for any extended period of time. Anything
that ends up in the bag is taking up space that could have been otherwise
occupied. I am leaving pieces behind and I am not sure that I will be able
to go on without them. With no solid image of what Ecuador will be, it is
hard for my excitement for this new adventure to out weigh the immensity of
what is being left behind.
The emotions that I am feeling in the last week before pre-departure
training have left me thoroughly drained. I know that I would be leaving
home regardless of whether or not the end destination was Ecuador. It is
necessary part of growing up but I neither want to give up on being taken
care of nor on being able to take care of my family. I have been spoiled by
having my all my immediate family within an hour of me. Leaving them behind
feels harder than I every could have expected. Adventures to me always
ended by returning home, but this one is really only the start. Once I
leave, I start a cascade of movement and change in my life and home will
cease to ever be as permanent as it is right now. I know everything will
get better once I arrive in Ecuador, but the anticipation is killing me.

Amelia Wohlers