366 Days and Counting

It was one year ago today that I closed on my house and turned over the keys. The days leading up to closing on my house were hectic. I had a giant U-Haul full of crap I had to move to Wisconsin, I had more boxes of books and National Geographic Magazines (have I a rather large collection) than I realized and I miscalculated.

I didn’t sleep for about 48 hours at one stretch trying to finish packing everything.

Once I had everything packed, I had to actually get most of my clothes and my bag. Most of the stuff I have with me right now I purchased after I closed on my house. I didn’t have the time to really focus on trip stuff because I was so busy trying to tie up all the loose ends before I left.

I had about two week to get a new drivers license (which took forever due to an old speeding ticket I never paid in Minnesota), get all my camera gear, get a laptop, buy clothing, buy bags….everything. I had no list other than an internal one in my head. It all worked out for the best. I still have stuff in my bag I’ve never used like bandages and such. I’ve been throwing some stuff out the last few days in an effort to reduce the weight of my bag.

Looking back on the past year, If there is one thing that I didn’t expect from this trip it was the fact that I can remember everything. The previous several years before sort of all blurred together. It isn’t as if I have Alzheimer’s, but when you do something isn’t necessarily something which you can recall instantly. Doing the same thing every day makes it all become the same thing.

I can remember every room I’ve stayed in, every city, every plane flight, every day. If I can’t say the exact date I was in a place, I can probably tell you to within a week. Things tend to stand out when it changes every day.

In the last year I’ve been to the tops of mountains, 100 feet under the sea, flown on helicopters, been to uninhabited islands, seen ancient ruins, been to the world’s largest cities, been inside active volcanoes, had monkeys on top of my head,and been within a mile of political assassination attempt. I’ve seen refugee camps and palaces. I’ve been in deserts, rainforests, mountain ranges and glaciers. I’ve meet some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Oh, yesterday I almost hit a kangaroo with my car…

The only regret I have is not doing this earlier.

I get a lot of questions like: “do you ever get lonely?”, “do you ever get homesick?” Well, sometimes, but if I just focus on what is I’m actually doing, it passes pretty fast. I’m doing something with only a small percentage of people will ever do. Something only a sliver of a fraction of a percent of humanity could ever even have thought of doing. I’ve may have seen more than Captain Cook or Macro Polo.

Where will I be one year from now? No clue. I pretty much play it by ear. I know roughly where I’ll be over the next few months, but beyond that I don’t know where I’ll go. Driving around Australia will take a while and from there I’m going to PNG, then flying to Singapore and up through SE Asia to China. Once I’m done with Australia, the cost of my trip should decrease dramatically. The island hopping will be done and most of the countries I’ll be visiting from there on out will be pretty cheap. I dread Europe with the dollar like it is.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who reads the site. Writing this blog is a way for me to keep in touch with people and I do get enjoyment knowing that other people are following along. I’ve had more people get in touch with me that I knew from college and high school than I have since I graduated. Funny how you have to leave the country to have that happen :)