As I begin writing this post, I'm in the Austin airport, finally catching my breath after a tumultuous and super stressful all-nighter of packing, cleaning, and tying up loose ends. I kept telling myself, "Everything'll be OK," mostly as a distraction to keep me from flying off the handle. But mere minutes from embarking on a long overdue return to the Philippines, I'm finally beginning to believe it.
I'm looking forward to taking you on my journey, too, of course. As a food-sensitive foodie used to cooking most everything for himself and keeping a close eye on everything I'm eating, this will be an "experience" to say the least that we can all probably learn from.
|Just before sunrise, waiting for the plane to take off.|
Anticipating the 20+ hour flight from Austin to Detroit to Nagoya to Manila, I spent most of the last day just preparing for that. While a gluten-free meal is an option on the flight, it unfortunately is not dairy-free. So for my sake (and more importantly for the sake of those stuck in the plane next to me), I packed a motherlode of snacks to hopefully get me through.
|I bought cases of mostly local, raw, organic snack bars.|
|Hope customs won't mind my desire to bake.|
|Superfoods trail mix.|
|These supplements are must haves for any trip.|
|Raw, sprouted sunflower, pepita, coconut "fudge."|
In fact, there are just enough snacks for me to subsist on them completely for at least the first week. But after that, we'll just have to see. And while that initially freaked me out and would have previously instigated me to pack my whole pantry and medicine cabinet, the emotions surrounding the situation are slowly and surely starting to shift. I'm actually excited now about the possibilities. Going to the market every day for fresh fruit and vegetables, cooking and baking for my relatives and my grandmother, taking advantage of their rapidly growing organic industry, perhaps finding a much greater awareness of the gluten free diet than I expected or discovering restaurants I can eat at with my family, and maybe even sharing knowledge about Celiac disease and why I choose to live my "canary lifestyle." Excited to not have to be in total control and excited to surrender to the situations. Excited for the opportunities to adapt, to be challenged, and to make it work..
|Don't adjust your computer: The psychedelic tunnel at the Detroit airport.|
As I finish writing this post, I'm now sitting in the Detroit airport on a three hour layover, waiting for my family to arrive so we can continue this journey together. That thought made me genuinely smile for the first time in the last two days. And feeling so incredibly stressed, angry, and frustrated the last two days is now allowing me to truly understand how special and momentous this trip is going to be. Something I will never forget.
Everything is OK. [sigh]
Please stay tuned for more of this canary's adventures (and misadventures) in the Philippines. The discoveries, the connections, the rediscoveries, and most importantly, the love.