Last night before the unknown

Our last night in the States, before we take a giant leap into the unknown. We’ve both never been to Europe. Mark has never left the country. We’ve never taken a monumental trip like this before. We’re probably under-packed and over-packed at the same time. We haven’t finished some (minor) errands, nor have we said all the things we’ve wanted to say to friends & family.

I was reading an entry I wrote a few weekends ago when we moved out of our apartment in Irvine, and it kinda sums up how I feel tonight:

Everything is packed.

We’re really moving out. I feel a great sense of sadness, like I’m leaving my comfort zone. I am afraid I will be homesick. I am afraid things will never be the same. I am afraid I will never be able to come back. I’m afraid I’ll lose all my friends. I’m afraid I’ll get bored. I’m afraid I won’t change after this trip.

But at the same time I am nervous and excited about what lies ahead. I keep reminding myself that I’ll only be gone for 5 months, but to me it feels like a long time. 5 months without a home, stable income, or anything permanent. It really does sound like I’m going through a mid-life crisis.

I’m starting to worry about events months in advance. I’m worrying about finances (though I shouldn’t, we’ve budgeted enough for this trip), illnesses, and whether my jacket is too heavy for Morocco, or warm enough for Iceland. I wonder if our things in storage are ok.

Heck, what are we doing?!? Are we crazy? Is this even a good idea??!? Are we even ready for this type of adventure? I know Mark & I are pretty bad with planning ahead for crucial events in advance (mainly because he’d be busy with work, and I’m quite non-committal with itineraries and dates), so this may be a giant comedy of errors. We’re both having pre-trip anxiety.

I make it sound like we’re going away forever (and we’re not…at least for now), but it sure feels like it. My biggest hope for this trip is that we DO learn something about ourselves and each other, and learn about the world and see how we fit. To leave my comfort zone and see how far I can push myself, and to find solace in just living each day. Hopefully we’ll be good about keeping this blog updated and look back and see how far we’ve come along.

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A strangely erotic kinetic sculpture

A strangely erotic kinetic sculpture.

MIT Museum

Spent the afternoon at the MIT Museum. The bottom floor has different kiosks about current research projects happening at MIT. The second (MUCH bigger) floor is quite large and houses many neat exhibits, such as kinetic sculptures, holograms, a hadron collider photo gallery, and everyday household inventions.

All-in-all a neat place to visit, we finished it in 3.5 hrs. Admission is $10 per adult, but if you show a Charlie Card / Ticket, you can get a 2-for-1 deal.

A pencil that grows into a plant when you add water. The purpose is to recycle old pencils. The water dissolves the outer shell, revealing a seed underneath.

A spider bot

Kismet, a social robot

“Thinking Chair” by Arthur Ganson

Robotic arm

Original Polaroid prototypes made out of paper

 

Ancient Egyptian Art @ Museum of Fine Arts

Went to the Museum of Fine Arts today, since it’s free to the public after 4pm on Wednesdays (normally it’s $25, or free to Bank of America customers). Totally worth it! However, we got there at 8pm and they close at 9:45, so it was a bit of a rush (possible foreshadowing of things to come in Europe?).

So, with time constraints in mind, we went to the section of art we knew we wouldn’t get much of a chance to see – Art of the Ancient World. We both want to visit Egypt & Greece quite badly, but due to current sociopolitical situations in both countries, it’s probably not a good idea at this time. Instead, we had a good time looking through ancient artifacts found in tombs from both locations, many of them actually quite well-preserved. There were also a few mummies and coffins available for viewing.

Definition of a snack

K: I want a snack.
M: Where should we eat?
K: Let’s get a burger.
M: A burger isn’t a snack though.
K: Let’s split it. Half a burger is a snack!

 

Exploring MIT Campus

Exploring MIT campus.

Walking Around Old Stomping Grounds

Walking around old stomping grounds