There are some people who seem perpetually serene – life just is. You know these people, right? And you know that I’m not one of them. I can’t seem to live my life without being in some state of dynamic instability, always falling forward into the next thing and feeling like I somehow always just manage to get my foot out in front of me, onto that stepping stone before I crash into the rushing stream.

At least that’s how I feel. I know that, in reality, if I don’t get everything done by the time we leave for Ecuador, it’ll still be okay (did I mention we’re going to Ecuador? And Peru? Roadtrip!!!!). Because “everything” is really an overblown concept, looming on the mental horizon and blocking out the morning sun. Because we can’t do everything. “Everything” means making sure we’ve got the right power adapters for the new razor, movies loaded onto the travel computer, triplicate copies of documents (passport, itinerary, medical photocopies stacked and sorted – one copy with us, one to our parents), the right number of waterproof layers, sprayed and dried, the right….

At some point, you’re just arranging paper doilies for the snacks you’ve prepared for the house sitter, and you realize that the entire thing is ridiculous. We’ve got our tickets, we’ve got our passports, and we’ve got our immunizations. We’re going.

Life – not even travel – doesn’t need to be a constant panicked rush, and I forget that. It’s the river, it will come, it will take us, and we’ll all get there, one way or another.

So – did I mention we’re going to Ecuador?  In about two weeks. Ever since she was a kid, D’s been wanting to go to the Galapagos. About a year and a half ago, some college friends of ours who have kids the same age decided that this was the time to do it, and dove into doing all the heavy lifting to set the trip up. Find a boat, find a guide, negotiate the itinerary, etc. (you’ve got to get these things in place about a year in advance for the Galapagos).  Pretty much, all we had to do was say “yes” and send deposits at the appropriate times. There’ll be four families, in three generations, on the boat for about one and a half weeks. Some time on the Ecuadorean mainland beforehand, and a brief “drive by” of Machu Picchu afterwards, and we’re all counting on this being the trip of a lifetime. Of course, we’re still packing, figuring out what kind of doilies to use for..

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