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Pre-Flight Checklist

USA | Thursday, 25 April 2013 | Views [487] | Comments [3]

When your world gets turned upside-down, you have a simple choice: fight or flight. I chose flight, literally.

The night that I found out my dad had been having a 10 year affair with my mom's best friend, i did 2 things: 1) I cried like I've never cried before. I knew that life as I knew it was over and that my father had gone from best friend and confidant to Public Enemy #1; and 2) I knew I had to get away. I didn't know for how long, or to where, but I just knew I had to run. 

That was almost 6 months ago. It took me 6 seconds to decide to go, and 6 months to plan. Why didn't I just get up and leave that night? I had my excuses: I had work, I didn't want to leave my mom, it was almost the holidays and that seemed miserable (more miserable than I was), but I was afraid of what would happen while I was gone. So I waited until work slowed down, got permission from my boss, pushed my mom into a better emotional state than she was ready for (sorry mom!) and planned. 


It's now 2 days before I leave on my around the world trip with 6 major stops, 3 continents  up to 14 countries, and at least 4 bucket-list items, and here is my checklist:

Check In

Mentally, I mean. It's time for an adventure that most people will never get to experience in their life. So mentally prepare to learn about myself, and check into the mindset of being on an adventure.


Leave as much of it behind. Both literally and figuratively  this trip is about me and it's something I've always wanted to do and my never get the opportunity to do it again. Leave the crap at home, it will still be there when I return.

Terms and Conditions

You are going to get taxed and it's going to be taxing.

You have to have a valid passport at all times.

This trip is non-refundable and can only apply to the aforementioned party.

You got shots for this - you're going to stick it out.

Always wear sunscreen.

Because you are staying at friend's houses, you must savor each moment with said friends.

Smile and have fun at all possible moments.


I, Anna Carlson, have read the Terms and Conditions and I understand that this trip is non-refundable. I agree to pay the total amount of blood, sweat and tears for this purchase privilege. 




I am the Mom of the greatest daughter in the world. Not only am I proud of you, but I am so impressed with how you have realized, accepted, and honored the gifts that have been given to you. Go forth, my beautiful child, and enjoy the wonder this world has to offer. I don't know if this trip can answer questions for you or give you perspective, but I know it is important for you to go. The most important thing to know is that is will be FUN, it should be ADVENTUROUS, and that there are people in your life who LOVE YOU more than anything. Safe travels my sweet girl. I love you, ** Mom **

  Janine Carlson Apr 26, 2013 5:32 PM



My words to you:

Remember not to run past anything - walk, stroll, remember all those words that mean listen, smell, enjoy, savor and do them all.

Take brownie bites of everything, and leave only footprints.

Mental pictures work just as well as physical ones, so don't fret on days when amazing things happen and you don't have a camera.

Laugh a lot, at yourself, at others, at the wind blowing or the rain falling.

See you on the other side.


  Lynne Apr 27, 2013 9:04 AM


I am the lifetime friend of this amazing beautiful woman, who is ready for the time of her life. So happy I get to follow your journey. Cannot wait to see you when you return state-side. Love you (and have for 19 years)! Love, Burbon #2 (twin, Hanita, Hannah Danielle, the girl who showers in less than 2 minutes)

  Hannah May 2, 2013 6:48 AM

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