Resfeber [RACE-fay-ber]: (n.) the restless race of a traveler’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together; a ‘travel fever’
English is a beautiful language in its own way – it allows for the expression of both extremes and subtleties and for detailed descriptions. Even so, it’s missing what Swedish so wonderfully has: a word that exactly captures the thrill of embarking on a journey.
It’s one of my favorite feelings. That rush of taking off and leaving behind all notions of familiarity and comfort and heading to an unknown dream-land. Each time, it washes over me with different degrees of strength and each time, I fail to see it coming. About fifteen minutes into my flight, my mind begins to settle. I didn’t miss the plane, my bag is checked, the hostel is booked and right now, there’s nothing to be done. It’s about then that the soft skin stretching over the veins beneath my wrists and the pads on my fingers begin to tingle. Slowly but surely, my blood begins to rush and my stomach and shoulders tense just slightly. All of a sudden I am awake, so awake, and then the feelings come. It’s always the same emotions blended differently – fear, excitement, anticipation, bliss and anxiety. Each piece of that thrill peaks and plummets at different points as the next forces its way to the forefront, but all together, it’s euphoria.
Nothing is certain, nothing is sure. Every reality becomes nondescript – the trees and roads look like play things until they slip out of sight. You’re above the world, yet still within it; the clouds and the sun are only just out of reach. Taking off means leaving home behind, but it means so much more than that. The thought of landing in a place that awaits my arrival means the opportunity to understand and become part of a new world but more importantly, it is the opportunity be whoever I want to be. Leaving and starting over, even if temporarily, means the chance to reinvent myself.
I’m sitting now in the Atlanta airport alone, waiting for my red-eye flight to begin boarding. It’s been a long day, complete with an LSAT exam finished, but a journey like this one is the best and sweetest of rewards. I got a small glimpse of that ‘resfeber’ on my short flight here from RDU and as I people watch, I’m enjoying the ideas of joining my friends in Amsterdam in the morning and beginning the adventure that will be working for rAVe publications at ISE. For now though, I’ll just enjoy the journey.