T minus 20 days until Lewisville

I have less than three weeks, THREE WEEKS I tell you, until my plane leaves for the STA Head Office in Lewisville, Texas. I couldn't list any adjectives describing my excitement even if my life depended on it. The visceral anticipation has not come to me yet, and how could it when the most incredible opportunity too cool to fathom is on my horizon? I recently spelled out a few things I am doing to prepare for the World Traveler Internship, but how is everything developing, you ask? Quite nicely, actually. Thank you for inquiring.

Body Training

I've never been fit, I'll be honest. I used to wear t-shirts in the pool and nude-colored leotards under my skimpy dance outfits. However, I've gotten over that embarrassed state from my childhood and have learned to use that extra fluff for even more impressive cannonballs.

On my previous trip, I had trouble incorporating a workout routine to my nomadic lifestyle, and this left me feeling bogged down and rather unhealthy. Fortunately for my slow body, I (usually) allotted myself oodles of time to avoid that rushed and exhausting experience of being on the road. The Internship, however, will be a whirlwind I've got to be prepared for.

I decided to turn up the dial and hire a trainer, April, at my local industrial sized fitness facility, Lifestyle Family Fitness (I'm not plugging right now, I just like specifics). This girl has everything I want in a trainer:

1. Doesn't treat me as though I am inferior

2. Admits her own inadequacies and makes this fitness challenge feel like a group effort

3. Offers wonderful ideas for replicating the workouts we do while traveling (e.g. "Do these push-ups off your hostel bed...You can get the same results by sitting like this with a rubber band around your feet")

I take multi-vitamins. I now eat roughly six small meals a day. I get my heart rate up six times a week and pump mad iron four times. My grandma thinks I'm losing weight. I'll take her word for it.

I'm actually liking all this. I am a creature of habit, so getting into a routine pleases me. All I can ask for is a little more vim and vigor on the road (and possibly a core like Jennifer Aniston), so I can approach any experience energetically from start to finish.

Mind Training

I listened to you. There was an overwhelming lead for Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country at the time when I was ready for a new book, and now, any chance I get, that two-pointed nose of mine is all up in that book.

Spirit Training

As evident by the background of suburban homes, this adventure is sure to be trying and extreme. What am I trying to do?

Get tough.

Living with the comforts of a nice mattress, clean carpet, and temperature control have possibly made me a nancy, no longer able to hack it in the world of adventure travel. I'm powerless and vulnerable to the hardships the elements can muster. I've got to get my toughness back.

And so I pitched my tent, my beautiful Coleman from my 10th birthday (although back then I was only allowed to pitch it indoors), and this week I will sleep in my backyard and reform that thick skin I used to sport during my Big Journey days. Though the experience will pale in comparison to the bush camping of East Africa, we do have a coyote around here somewhere...and that could make late-night bathroom breaks kinda ugly.

Interested in my backyard tent antics? Videos to come by May 15th and be sure to follow my twitter for real-time updates. I sense you're ever-so anxious to know what happens...