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One week to Egypt. The question I get asked most frequently right now is “Are you excited?” The comment most often directed to me is “You must be excited.” And I answer yes, but the truth is more complicated. Or at least longer. With more bullet points.

  • Our first attempt in April was cancelled after the Icelandic volcano. Was Charlie Brown excited every time he went to kick the football? Because unreasonable as my brain knows this is, my heart can’t stop feeling like the ball’s going to be pulled away again. I’m not superstitious, except when I am, but I can’t let myself anticipate too much. I will believe I’m going to Egypt when I’m sitting under a pyramid. And not these ones:

  • I’m still so happy to be sharing this experience with Teresa, and I know this is ridiculous, but the perfect story has been … de-perfect-ified. It would have been the first time we’d seen each other in 8 years. Now we’ve had that reunion. It was timed for her 40th birthday and the end of my Olympic contract as our “Woe is We” trip. Now we have no woes. Well, no fun woes. Yet I wouldn’t have traded our Edmonton as Egypt trip for anything. Anything but an actual trip to Egypt, that is.
  • I’m a homebody who loves travelling. I’m an introvert who tries to fight against the hermit instinct. This trip will take me out of my comfort zone. Which is great and exciting and terrifying and exhausting.I can’t think about it too much or it’s overwhelming. Exciting, but overwhelming.
  • Packing logistics are complicated by the fact that I’m heading directly to a Los Angeles work trip without going home first. My wardrobe and electronics needs are very different. But no way I’m bringing a laptop and formal black pants to Egypt. Also: I’m going to die of jetlag, working long days at a trade show on the west coast of North America starting the day after I return from Africa. And yet I’m excited about both trips.
  • While the original timing of the trip gave me something to look forward to during the gruelling final months of the Olympic contract, now I’m distracted by other exciting current and future commitments, including the LA trip – the work opportunity is great, and I’m getting a tour of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and seeing friends. There’s a lot going on right after Egypt, and right now, which is great and exciting and terrifying and exhausting. And sometimes just mundane, but time- and thought-consuming.
  • But if I weren’t excited, would my iGoogle look like this?