Preparing for a trip around the world requires a little planning. Okay, a lot of planning. And I don’t love planning. I’m more the type to just wing it. I usually get on a plane without ever having glanced at a guidebook and trust that I’ll find my way. In all my years of traveling all over the planet that “casual” approach has worked for me. Even my first big trip abroad at 21, setting off for a year in Europe, I circled my finger around the map and determined that wherever my finger landed is where I would start my trip. (Bern, Switzerland, in case you were wondering.) But this time, well, I’m older and more cautious, I would even say fearful. My mind fills up at night with scenarios of all that could go wrong. That’s a lot of hours of insomnia. Hell, I even bought travel insurance for the first time in my life.
To ease my anticipation of what’s to come, I’ve been going for runs on the beach. With my iPod blasting in my ears. Music not only helps motivate me to actually run (as opposed to, say, walk — or, as I’m often tempted to do, just sit and watch the waves). The music also calms the chatter in my mind. What I’ve noticed on my recent runs is how much closer I’ve been listening to all the lyrics. As my playlist shuffles through the usual — and eclectic — stock there have been a few tunes that have stood out, songs that, if my World Piece journey had a soundtrack, would be on it.
Some of these might be obvious — addressing peace and understanding. John Lennon’s classic is a no-brainer; I like this Aerosmith cover from the Instant Karma album. But if I could pick only one song it would be Michael Franti’s; it’s all about how we all need to get along–and listen to each other– no matter what language we speak.
But there are other songs that speak to what is going on with me internally. Like having to let go.
|Marcus, my late husband|
Taking off for a round-the-world trip means saying goodbye to a lot of attachments. To my apartment. To my dog. To my family. To my belongings. To my familiar surroundings. And to the thing (the person) I don’t like to talk about so much anymore — because I’m sure everyone is getting tired of hearing about him, and I wanted to believe I was done with my grief — and that is Marcus.
This trip to me represents letting go of him.
I hadn’t realized until I booked my flights, using the last of his 400,000 frequent flyer miles he racked up from his corporate travels, that by holding onto those miles I was still holding onto him. I waited until just hours before their expiration date to use them. When I secured my round-the-world ticket I should have been ecstatic. Instead, I cried the entire next day. Those miles were another piece of him.
So yeah, about that song, “Let Go” by Frou Frou:
The countdown for take-off has begun. In a month and a half from now my suitcase will be loaded in the cargo hold, the airplane door will close behind me, the jet wheels will lift off from American soil, and I will be on my way. One way. One direction. All the way around the globe. In spite of the pre-journey jitters, I have faith it’s going to be a f*cking amazing adventure.
Until then, I’m going to keep running, and keep listening to these songs. And hopefully add some more.
Is Love Enough by Michael Franti (This is the studio version I have on my iPod.)
Give Peace a Chance by John Lennon (This is Aerosmith’s version from Instant Karma.)
These Days by Jackson Browne (“I’ll keep on moving, things are bound to be improving…“)
Don’t Panic by Coldplay (Yes, we do live in a beautiful world. I want to go be reminded of that.)
Let Go by Frou Frou (Uh, yeah. See above.)
Roam by The B-52s (How can you not love this song?)
Jai Ho by A.R. Rahman (Jai Ho means “Let there be victory” in Hindu.)
93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz (I like to think of this one as a kind of homecoming song.)
What songs would you add to the WORLD PIECE playlist? What would your own playlist include to express where you’re at in your life right now?