Adventure didn’t wait long. It was somewhere over northern Canada when a passenger fell sick at 30,000 feet and needed medical assistance. It just so happens I kept my stethoscope and blood pressure cuff in my carryon, lucky I did! I was upstaged by a cardiologist, but he didn’t have a stethoscope so I still got to stand in, haha. For our troubles the flight crew gave us a gift bag from first class, a bunch of miles, and free drinks for the rest of the (13 hour) flight!
The rest of the flight was spent in quiet reflection of the last few weeks and what lies ahead. After surviving finals to wrap up the first year of med school, the week that proceeded this departure was non-stop loose end tying of a rope which seemed to fray further and further every time I tried to tick something off the list. There was a flurry of last minute visits with friends and family that I haven't seen all year and won't see again for at least the next two months. A failed trip to the Chinese consulate in NYC which will have to be repeated in Bangkok to get my visa for the Tibet expedition. Packing, repacking, shopping, returning, repacking, hygiene, final packing.
Then, as I stepped out of my best friend's chic Brooklyn apartment carrying all I will be able to call mine for the next five countries, I heard the slow click of the door locking behind me. That was it. There was no time to be feckless, it was time to step on to the elevator and into the unknown.
I'm grateful to have been able to make the most of my week before leaving. It was a week of meetings, appointments, paperwork, and driving. Mostly driving. But I saw so much in that week and conditioned myself to get back out of my comfort zone. I'm impressed with my younger self - this used to be so much easier. The first trip to Asia was put together in less than 24 hours and lasted four months. I never planned any of it and never felt out of my depth. I now lean on those experiences and trust that it will all come back.
Next stop Thailand via Singapore!