Why I travel solo

Francois Rabelais

Sometimes I think I should have turned to screenwriting, rather than blogging as a creative outlet, because I tend to see things in cinematic terms. In my mind, I’m always composing the (improbably cheesy) Lifetime movie based upon, of course, The Life of Amy.

Like one morning last spring I was jogging up a hill  listening to the very end of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” on my iPod.  You know it’s the song on Abbey Road that you imagine must have been inspired by major hallucinegens because it’s a lumbering loop with a psychedelic-synthesizer laid on top of it and it builds in intensity just like my climb. Just when you think it will never end, it suddenly breaks, and there’s a beat of silence, and then the plucky first chords that begin “Here Comes the Sun” start to trill right as I reached the top of the long hill.

It was so epically heavy and then light and free and made me think of my struggles, not just the hard work trying to get to the top of the freaking hill, but the hill as a metaphor for all that I’ve had to overcome over the last few years: the divorce, dealing with angry teenagers, going back to work full-time, becoming the gal I really want to be.

I imagine how I’d use that moment in my Lifetime movie, maybe it’s towards the end and I’ve had all the attendant struggles and made my way through and as I’m slogging up that hill, the Beatles pounding in the background, I hit the top and we do a quick cut to something super-happy as “Here Comes the Sun” skips in. And this is going to sound so cheesy but in my make-believe story, sometimes that scene is a wedding, like it’s some Shakespearean comedy or something and we’ve just emerged from the woods.

Poetic license, for sure.

But whatever that scene is, it represents the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

There have been plenty of other scenes looping through my head over the last four years as I’ve moved from an unhappy and unsure wife and mother to someone who knows who she is and what she wants.

In my movie, there would definitely be that scene when the checkout guy at Trader Joe’s asked for my phone number while bagging my humus (guess that’s not all he wanted to bag, ba dum tss).

Of course there would be a scene or two showing the truly low points of my life, like a blow out with one of the kids or the super-sad scene of my ex-husband and I standing in front of a judge in a dreary courtroom on a hot July afternoon and swearing before God and our very expensive attorneys that we no longer wished to be married.

And then later, we’d see how I pulled into my driveway and sat in the car and cried.

Sometimes the movie takes a turn towards the macabre, like when I’m looking around at all my fellow plane passengers pre-flight and imagine we’re all going down in a fiery crash, a la Lost or Airport 1975.

But sometimes I need to help my movie along a little and have to plan some real-life adventures from which to draw inspiration for upcoming scenes, which is what I’m about to do.

One part Mama Mia, two parts Shirley Valentine and 10 cups Eat, Pray, Love (math’s not my thing, yo), my sojourn begins Friday when I take off for Greece for about nine days.

I can’t even tell you how ridiculous that sentence was to write. I can’t believe I’ve had the balls to pull this thing off.

So here’s the plan: I fly from Jersey to Toronto for a quick stop and then across the Atlantic (gulp) to Athens where I land Saturday morning. I will then hang out there for a few hours (worst part of trip) until I catch a flight to Samos, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea and the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.

It’s there that I’ll meet up with my group of seven travelers who will climb aboard a 50-something foot yacht and sail around the Dodocanese Islands, off the coast of Turkey, for the week.

I know, right?

We’ll finish up the following Saturday morning and I’ll fly from Leros – population just under 8,000 – back to Athens where I’ll spend the rest of the day checking out the Acropolis and all the attendant sites and ruins. I catch a plane home the next day and arrive back in New York Sunday night.

I know, this all sounds fabulous. Who doesn’t dream of sailing the Greek islands? It’s the trip of a lifetime.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am really not that intrepid. If I could just stay in my comfort zone, I’d probably spend my life going on spa vacations with girlfriends and taking the kids to Disney.

But I don’t want either the make-believe Amy or the real Amy to be that comfortable; because it’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we grow (or at least that’s what my therapist keeps telling me). My divorce sucked and all but, man, did I figure a lot of things out about myself.

And, who wants to watch a movie where nothing really happens?

So here’s my dilemma: My plan was to leave the laptop at home and take copious notes while away and blog about my experiences upon my return.

But recently, a number of friends/followers have suggested they’d enjoy more immediate updates.

So tell me, should I blog my adventures real-time or share when I get home? Or am I just imagining that my life is more interesting than it really is?

Either way, I can’t wait to find out what happens next in the movie.

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24 thoughts on “eat, pray, blog?

  1. Take a voice to text recorder and post a compendium upon your return. As your pseudo agent, or biggest fan, suggest we work up a plan before your next trip to have some pre written thoughts published every other day while your gone. Now, enjoy the trip…and wear your life jacket!

    • Voice-to-text what? That’s pretty hi-tch, mister. I was gonna kick it old school with a pen and notebook. But I will try to savor my moments away and will def have the lifejacket on …

  2. Aw, bring the danged thing. Worst case scenario is that you and it go down with the ship and no one can access your private thoughts later (or is that the best scenario???) Great blog today Amy, I laughed about the Lifetime movie. I’ve always thought mine would be more Monty Python, I’ll miss you next week-enjoy every second!!!

    • Barb, we both have an issue with letting our inner thoughts become public record. Glad you enjoyed today’s post and I’d like to see the Monty Python-version of your life some day …

  3. Amy, I’m loving your posts – and Shirley Valentine is one of my favorite movies – so can’t wait to hear how your real-life experience in Greece will compare to the movie version! But I have to admit that a long-standing pet peeve (sp?) is taking the laptop on any vacations. It keeps you too connected – and the object of a vacation is to disconnect and get away from the norm! So get away – take notes – and know we will all be anxious to hear all about it on your return. Happy travels!

  4. Amy – I love your writing! I too look at my life as a movie and often find myself wondering who changed the script I had so masterfully written in my young mind. Sigh… Looking forward to hearing about your adventures in Greece. Cheers!

    • Lisa … you make such a great point. Some times we think we know just where I life is going and then our plans get blown off course. I’m trying to point myself in one direction right now, let’s see what happens :)

  5. On one had I know everyone will be dying to hear about “Amy’s Excellent Adventure” but on the other I am with Elaine that for your own piece of mind, I would leave the laptop home.

    My laptop was stolen in DC last week and even though I still have my desktop, I am surviving for a bit without one during the day.

    • Bob E … I like that: Amy’s Excellent Adventure. Am sorry your laptop was swiped but glad to hear it’s not a fatal condition. I’ll keep you posted …

  6. you should absolutely not blog while there. it’s you’re trip, not ours. we can watch a lifetime movie while you’re gone and we’ll be all a twitter with anticipation for your report, stateside. but speaking of Twitter. If you get a signal while sunning on the deck, there’s nothing better than a few cryptic tweets to entice your loyal following.

  7. Leave the laptop home. I say that as a founding member of the “you can have my iPhone when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” club. Invariably you will find yourself saying “I just need to finish this blog post then I’ll do…” Or trying to figure out when to squeeze in the time to blog. Bad dog no! Go pick out a journal and pen that makes your heart sing (am I the only office product nerd?) and immerse yourself in the trip. You can blog in installments when you get home.

    • my ex partner divorce me after 2years in relationship. i try all my best to make sure i brought him back, but i could not,not until a friend of mine introduce me to a powerful spell caster.when i contact, i told him my problem and he said he will help me cast a re-union spell on him. After 24hours my gay partner call me on phone and start asking for for forgiveness. and now we are now happy in relationship.contact him if you are having this kind of problem with his via email at; ofuaspiritualtemple@gmail.com. All thanks to Dr.Ofua regard. GOOD LUCK………

    • This, coming from an iPhone addict, is some advice I need to take very seriously! I LOVE office products and have just the notebook to take on a long trip. Thanks, Holly … :)

  8. my ex partner divorce me after 2years in relationship. i try all my best to make sure i brought him back, but i could not,not until a friend of mine introduce me to a powerful spell caster.when i contact, i told him my problem and he said he will help me cast a re-union spell on him. After 24hours my gay partner call me on phone and start asking for for forgiveness. and now we are now happy in relationship.contact him if you are having this kind of problem with his via email at; ofuaspiritualtemple@gmail.com. All thanks to Dr.Ofua regard. GOOD LUCK………

  9. Enjoy your vacation ~ Take your pencil and notebook and snap photos and blog when you are back home! Enjoy every minute!

    • Thanks, Susan!!! Looking forward to getting some beach time in with you, too, before the end of the summer and maybe a cocktail or two? xoxox

  10. Amy, I am a huge fan of yours, and as I said when I ran into you today, my Greece trip was the beginning of feeling ready for my next chapter, of feeling like a real live woman again~ Leave the laptop, take notes, and don’t forget to live out every adventure ahead of you :) Time to get your “groove” back….
    Enjoy!

    • Anne! I love that your Grecian trip was the start of a new chapter in your life. I kind of think mine will be as well. Will be looking around for my groove while I’m away … xo

  11. Definitely blog about your adventures…after you get home. I’ll be in Greece as well, but with my family, so I’ll need to blog to escape. You, on the other hand, should just enjoy.

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