This is my first entry in my temporary blog – real domain address to come soon! But people have been asking, and now I’ve got the urge to document some of the feelings I’m having and the some of the events that led up to it while I wait to leave on this grand adventure.

At the moment I’m sitting in my living room on Chicago’s Northwest side. I’m surrounded by clutter and moving boxes, but, perhaps surprisingly, it’s not mine. No, these all belong to a stranger (who seems super, duper nice, btw) who’s moving into my bedroom. It still makes me feel uneasy, unsettled and on edge. I’ve been practicing being flexible for months now and I’m viewing this waiting game as the ultimate test… so far I think I’m winning!

In less than an hour, with the delivery of the mail, I’ll know if I can indeed book and catch a red-eye flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for this evening. (The USPS lost my passport the Thursday before my departure date, and I had to get a new one.) Once that new passport is in my hot little hands the final countdown begins:

1. Tag and double check my luggage
2. Final sweep of the house
3. Book a flight
4. Print maps of airport stops
5. Email my host family the flight information
6. Leave for Vietnam

I’m more than ready to go – all that’s left here is me, my luggage, some clothes and random items, and my cat, Wobbly Bob. She doesn’t know it yet, but her world is about to get rocked! She’s going to live with my mom, and she’s going to enjoy being out of the cat-infested apartment we currently have.

Once I get to Vietnam, my step-aunt’s sister-in-law’s family will pick me up. I’ll be renting a room from them for a week or two and they’re helping me find my way around the city, find and negotiate for an apartment, exchange USD for Dong (the local currency), drive me to interviews and more. It feels so much better to have a safety net!!

Once in country, I’ll continue looking for work. There are over 200 language centers in HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City) and I anticipate the ability to show up in person to interview will be to my advantage. I’ll most likely be working between 20-30 hours each week. Hopefully that leaves enough time to travel all of Vietnam, make new friends, travel the region, and learn the language!

Anyway, that’s what’s going on here! A new post to follow regarding how AWESOME all my family and friends are, and how it felt to say goodbye to each of you… Stay tuned!