Wednesday, 6 April 2011

10 days left

Yes, I admit, it’s all very exciting. The ferry is leaving in 10 days and if it wasn’t at night time we would be standing on the deck, looking at the soggy Island disappearing behind. But it will be at night and so we’ll probably sit in the bar, toasting our very last pint before the road.

10 days left.

Most preparations are over.
Vehicle is ready.
House is empty.
Goodbye party invites have been sent.
Route is nearly complete.
Just one last breath of spring, and we’re off.

Preparation is like any pub meal: a few good bits but mostly boring and too often bland. Take vaccinations for instance: basic protection against all kinds of nasties with awful names like ‘Japanese Encephalitis’ and ‘Typhoid’. Valuable; yes: I don’t want to die a horrible slow death by a virus travelling through my nerve system and eating my brain; fun, no: getting ripped off before even leaving Hertfordshire. The best thing about our vaccination episode, dear readers, was Claire the nurse.

I love researching. I can spend hours and days researching. Book stores in London, online forums, travellers stories, blogs, diaries, reading, browsing, digging, revealing, discovering, and pulling any bit of information that will make this whole thing possible. I also love the ultimate excuse for spending any given moment looking for the best trekking routes around the world, the most exciting diving sites, and the ideal cultural experiences.

However, those happy moments are unfortunately short and can be immediately replaced by different type of research; urgent and crucial research. Find a way to avoid needing a visa from the Russian mafia is a good example of such research, or finding ways around the most corrupted border crossings in the Caucasus region, or how to get insured without having to rob a bank on our way. This part of the pub meal is an old rotten battered fish; stinks and rancid.      

And then comes the time to leave my work. And no, it’s not ‘only work’. I’ve been managing smart people, working with the largest banks in the City and participating in building top industry software. When leaving this role I also leave the lifestyle that comes with it; the comfort, the career opportunities, and the safety of kicking arse whenever I feel like without the risk of getting shot. In fact, leaving my workplace (“I’m working-from-home-today-because-I-hate-the-train”) was with mixed emotions. I’ve had some great satisfying and rewarding moments and even a number of pleasant memories – rare thing for an office job. But frankly, bugger it: I’m going to be travelling around the world!!!

Preparation, we found out, is the best way to kill the anticipation before heading off for a challenging mission. And so, we prepare.
We could tell you now about bureaucracy, mechanical issues, endless paperwork, budget concerns and difficulties in production, but these subjects are dull and boring. Instead here are 10 (random) GOOD things that happened lately:

1.      For the first time in a while, my brain has managed to convince my ass to move itself and do something meaningful. Good start.
2.      Conclusion #1: We’re still not too old for a serious adventure but no longer young enough to give a fuck about jobs & careers.
3.       Decision #7: we need a new adventure!
4.      Conclusion #18: off-road driving around the world is far more interesting than flying and far less butt-aching than riding.
5.      After a long time the sun has finally came out for a while.
6.      Finished the coving.
7.      Renting the house out.
8.      Our sponsorship with Lookers Land Rover. They must think we’re too crazy or too silly, but either way, Boudica the car gets a nice caring service before we go. Good deal.
9.      Ganesha the cat will have a new home with uncle & auntie in Vermont, America, which is the coolest thing any smart cat could ever ask for.
10.  New motivation to finish my album (finally!).
10 days left. Another look at the gear list, another insurance quote, the final car check- excitement indeed. But also expectations, anticipations and small fears. I hate to finish with a cheesy final chord but indeed this is only just a beginning of a new adventure.  

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1 comment:

  1. I didn't find the preparation for my trip to be dull, solving the actual problem of leaving everything and become a free man was a daunting task, and I enjoyed every little bit of freedom that I would get every time I would get rid of something, either a physical object or a problem. Every time that an issue blocking the trip was solved it was a great time for celebration.