Yes, in about 9 days, I'll be leaving on a jet plane, bound for the middle of the Pacific ocean.
Wow, why would anyone want to go that far and pay that much money? Well, Charles Darwin found the destination quite charming, and his books on the subject have been classics for over 100 years.
I'm talking about the Galapagos Islands, 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador. (I think my brother computed that to be about 600 miles from Ecuador.) That's really in the middle of nowhere! No cell phone towers here, I'm sure!
My brother is a big fan of Jeopardy, as I am also. He retired a couple of years ago, and that makes watching it on a very regular basis quite possible for him. I'm usually free to catch it, if the afternoon sleepytime doesn't take precedence. Last year, Alex Trebek and his Clue Crew went to the Galapagos to film some clues for their show. They had a contest to invite a viewer to go with them. My bro entered but did not win the trip, but it didn't stop his desire to go there. He found out our favorite cruise line was sponsoring a trip or twseveral trips to the Galapagos, and he offered the invitation to his two sisters to go with him. I thought about it for a while and decided it might be something on my "bucket list", so I agreed to go with him.
The downsides to this trip are: it's during the school semester, so I'll be missing 2 full weeks of school; it cost and arm and a leg, and a couple of other body partts added in; and it is darn far away!
Most people who I share the information that I'm going are so enthusiastic. I'm just apprehensive--going so far away, what will it be like? Will I be able to climb all those volcanoes and run away from the blue footed boobies? How will my veiny legs look when I'm snorkeling? Norovirus? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Will any of those things scourge us? And how about a long airplane flight?
I'm not a veteran of international travel. I'm already experiencing culture shock and I haven't even set foot on the plane! I guess I need to do this to experience what my students have already experienced. They got out of their comfort zone of their home culture and came to the U.S. for something else. This trip is a trip of a lifetime, and I hope it turns out good.
Wish me luck with the Darwinian wildlife, the cruise ship, the airplane ride, and the shock of showing my winter pale but heavily veined legs in public! I'm not sure which aspect has me more apprehensive.
In the past, when I've been scared or unsure, the event usually turned out great. I sure hope it works out this way also.
Note to thieves: I have a very moody and unpredictable cat guarding my property. Plus, he has a daily Cat Checker, who will be on call at the littlest problem. Leave my house alone.