Flying Outside of My Comfort Zone And Into A Different Time Zone

I am at the airport, waiting to get on the first of the three planes I shall board on the way to Manila.
My first flight is now delayed.
It is going to give me a smaller window of time to make my connection to Japan, but I am going to remain calm.

I am putting a lesson into practice here:

Do not worry about what has not happened yet.

These next two weeks will give me a chance outside the safe, loving and predictable cocoon of my home to remember the following:

-I am not lost nor in search of anything for I have everything I need.
-I am traveling with a purpose and not an agenda.
-I will have an easy going trip if I keep things simple.
-I am not an expert on anything. I will explore, learn and I will be open minded.

In order to enjoy myself I must remember:

-to be more accepting and less judgmental.
-to praise instead of complain.
-that negative statements or actions are fear based. They must be promptly met with a quick and concise mental prayer.
-that when we keep our egos out of an equation, every encounter in life is amazing instead of a competition.

I am going to the Philippines to re-set my button.
I have not been there since 2007.
Ever since the kids were born, I have not been there without them.

This is the first time in 14 years that I will make this trip by myself.
Since I am on my own--I am traveling very practically.

I am not sure if I am making a pilgrimage or if I am taking a vacation.

No comfy airplane seats nor hotels with hot powerful showers.
In fact, no hotels--period (and definitely no shower. Water might be sporadic.)
It is going to be some sort of a backpacking trip.
Kind of the way I did things over 21 years ago, when I lived on a preschool teacher's salary.

A pilgrimage is a difficult but meaningful journey made to a sacred place while in search for purpose or clarity. It involves effort and endurance.
I don't think that a pilgrimage is meant to be comfortable.
A vacation is a break from everyday life for the sole purpose of relaxing.

The Philippines is sacred to me and the journey to get there is not easy.
I think this trip will be part pilgrimage and part vacation.
The breakdown of its parts is what will remain uncertain.
This uncertainty is what I am working on being okay with.

Remember my travel anxiety issues?
Along with a host of other issues--I have been working through them.
I have been focused on studying how to lead a more purposeful, peaceful and positive life.
This trip will serve as some sort of a practicum.
When I studied to become a teacher, we learned all about experiential learning.
Simply put, that children learn by doing.
Adults can learn this way too.
I am excited to apply everything I have been learning lately about prayer, intention and living in the power of now during this trip.

My sister Karen is extremely excited to see me. 
She is taking my pilgrimage quest to an extreme though.
She is trying to coax me into a very long (close to 90 miles) and punishing bike ride with her.
she writes:
"the thing here is to enjoy...and go at your own comfortable pace
...and also to want to do it...goal in mind is to reach Batangas! :) "

I think she may have lost her mind.
Just looking at this map triggers diarrhea in me. 
(My body has not yet received the memo about maintaining neutral emotions to such preposterous suggestions.)

I have not committed to this, but yet I am not resisting it either.

I am thankful for Steve and the girls for holding down the fort for the two weeks that I will be gone.
I so appreciate this chance to visit Karen and her family.
I am so grateful for all the friends that are making plans to spend time with me in Manila and the friends that I have here that will help out during conflicts in Steve's schedule.

Please pray for a safe and spiritually significant vacation/pilgrimage for all those involved in this trip.

I believe that there is something to be gained from deliberately engaging in a demanding journey.

I am hoping to gain growth and change.