Thanksgiving 2006 – T minus 5 days
The last few weeks have been busy and intense and I have been in a perpetual daze, so I really didn`t have time to think until the road trip home last night. Secretly, my finger might be close to hitting the panic button – did I pack too much, too little, did I get everything into my storage unit, did I tie up all the loose ends at work, do I have enough money, am I crazy?…etc. But once I get there, I will be reminded of why I`m doing this. I will be immediately captivated by the beauty that is Latin culture, people, landscape, etc; It will infect me and I`ll be cured of all anxiety and invigorated with curiosity and wonder. At least that`s what I`m banking on.
As promised to some of you, here is a site I set up to track my trip. Hopefully, it will be an easy way for you to keep track of me and share in some of the highs and lows of my travels – or maybe it will just be a way for me to entertain myself on dreary days.
Some have asked WHY? The question should be why not? Ok, yes I get that most people do this type of thing in college, or shortly after, but hey, I`m slow. I know that I will get so much more out of a trip like this now than I would have 5 years ago. I got tired of reading other people’s travelogues and wishing I were them and I was ready for a change and decided to make it a drastic one…..so sayonara. In the next few months I hope to determine if it’s possible to OD on travel, meet people, see different cultures, go months without seeing a blackberry, learn about history, stop staring at computer screens every day, visit family, eat scary things, eat amazing things, dance, sleep in hammocks, smile, bask in the sun, sit on busses until my arse is numb, test my limits and boundaries, and maybe, just maybe, refocus and figure out what I want to do next in this life!
Another question I keep getting is how? It’s actually quite easy:
1) Decide to do it and DO IT! Quickly make your departure date so that you don’t have time to change your mind.
2) Quit your job! You probably didn’t like it anyway.
3) Sell stuff, give away stuff, throw away stuff. Clutter makes it hard to be mobile!
4) Buy a ticket to a foreign city that sounds interesting…and Voila, off you go!!
5) Oh yeah – dinero. Well, just turn on the TV. Within an hour you’ll be taught that ‘Life Takes Visa!’. Perfect.
Ok, so seriously…for those who`ve fallen off my radar in recent months, I’m heading to South America for 5 months. My last day of work was yesterday, I moved out of my apt a few weeks ago, my stuff is in storage, and I said goodbye last night to Denver and tackled I-80 for some turkey time with the fam! Denver is great and my life there is great; it`s easy, it’s predictable, it’s home, and it’s filled with people that I love. But hey, I`m coming back! I won`t lie – it`s a bit scary to think about the uncertainty post-April (I do have a plan in the works but I haven’t fully wrapped my head around it). But seriously, careers come and go, graduate school will always be there, and although I hope that my entire life will allow for extended travel – that will most likely not be the case. So approveche while I can!! For those of you worried, I`ll land on my feet.
I`ve wanted to backpack South America since I was old enough to understand that one could do such a thing. My parents did it as their honeymoon and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a copycat. (The picture is of my ready-to-go backpack, along side the one my father used 30 years ago on their adventure.) I also can`t go without a shout out to my little brother for inspiration as well. He and Paige recently backpacked down through Central America (Mazatlan to the Panama Canal – very cool!), motivating me to get my own hiney in gear….I can`t be shown up by my little brother, now can I?
Checking out South America is phase 1 of a “GREATER PLAN” –mua-ha-ha. Come May, I will likely be heading to Africa, but I could also continue up through Central America, I could tag along with my friend Lani to Greece & Asia, or I might head back to Denver dead broke and ready to couch surf for awhile (Cap Hill – who wants first dibs?). Not quite sure. So I can`t tell you exactly when I`ll be back, but sometime between now and summer of 2009 – does that work?!?
Lima, Peru is my first stop – so please send me happy thoughts – wine money would be nice too! 🙂