I’m writing this a Panera Bread. I’m not here becasue they have free wireless (it’s down), but becasue they have chairs. I have wireless at my house, but I have no place to sit. I also have no television.
Its very interesting how my life has changed in the last few days with the simple elimination of furniture and television. I don’t watch a lot of television, but I do sit at my computer a lot. In fact, my desktop broke when I got back from Wisconsin about a week ago, and I’ve been on my laptop since then, and that has been a big change by itself.
I bring these things up only becasue they were small changes that had pretty big effects on my daily life. I’ve been spending more time out of the house because you can only sit on the floor for so long. I’ve been reading more books, because I don’t have access to the net most of the time when I’m out of the house.
Traveling will be a HUGE adjustment for me because I usually require constant stimulation. I read about 250 RSS posts a day on Google Reader. Being off line for such long stretches will be a big change. I’ll need to use my computer more as just a tool for video editing and writing rather than as a tool for communications. I’ll probably have to get my news from papers than from the web. I’m sure I’ll be totally out of the loop on most internet memes over the next two years. Someone will make a joke referencing something on YouTube and I’ll be “what? huh?”
It may sound like I’m bitching, but really I’m looking forward to it. I spent two weeks in Hawaii last year without my computer. It was the longest stretch I’ve had without access in ages and it really didn’t bother me too much.
If nothing else, will be able to catch up on a lot of reading.
I’m really starting to sense the reality of all this.
Dishes. Boxed. Toiliet brushes and plungers. Packed. DVD Collection. In storage. Clothing. Only a suitcase left. Freezer. Empty Fridge. Just soda and bloody mary mix.
One week from Tuesday, and I’m out of my house for good.
I realize that most of these posts are just repeating the same theme: OMG I’M GOING AROUND THE WORLD!!!
but it’s true.
I’m also putting together a First Aid kit of stuff I have sitting around the house. Stuff to make me poop, stuff to stop me from pooping, stuff for motion sickness, stuff for upset stomaches. Its hard to know what the right balance is between too much and not enough for this sort of stuff. I’ll probably opt for too much then pair it down later.
Its been two years since I decided to take this trip. Since then, its been all talk and no action. Planning, reading, talking but not really able to do much until I had all my affairs in order.
Its only been in the last few weeks that I’ve begun to realize that this is going to happen. I’m now well beyond the point of now return. Documents have been signed, utilities have been canceled, things have been boxed. Now it has to happen.
In the three weeks or so I have left here I have a lot to wrap up still. I got to finish packing, get stuff moved to storage, etc. You get the idea.
Once keys are handed over, I need to shift from wrapping up the old stuff to moving in a positive direction on trip related stuff. The nice thing is, I’ll be able to devote my entire attention to that.
Some of the things I have to do once I’m out of here:
I need a bag. This is sort of a big priority. I’m thinking a 45-55L bag with some sort of smaller bag to carry around during the day.
Gear. In particular my video camera, DSLR, GPS, and laptop. I’ve written about this in the past and I is worthy of an entire post of its own soon.
Legal stuff. My passport is fine, but I might try to apply for a second one given the amount of traveling I’ll be doing. This will give me extra pages as well as a backup. I also need to get visas lined up for a few places as well as shots and probably an International Drivers License.
Website. I’m still not happy with the site. This wordpress theme is cool and all, but I need to do more.
I’m currently planning on spending about two weeks in Wisconsin after I leave Minnesota, then a few days in Vegas, then maybe a week in LA, then onto Hawaii.
Its getting warmer and I’m getting closer to French Polynesia.
After three months of keeping it immaculate for showings, I’m amazed at how fast things can go to hell. Granted, I’m packing so I have stuff strewn all over, but its still pretty bad.
In between putting things in boxes, I’ve been working on my website. If you’re reading this on the website instead of an RSS reader, you can see the obvious changes. I really like this new WordPress Theme. Users can pick their own background image, and eventually I can replace the stock ones with photos I take on the road. I’d like to eventually make the header for the page a Google map with markers for posts, but that will have to wait. I have a feeling over the next few months I’m going to become far more familiar with the Google Maps API than I had ever imagined.
A few other changes I’ll be making soon:
Lat/Long coordinates for each post will be displayed with the post as well as a location name.
I’m going to try and put a local time clock on the front page. This will make it easy for people to know when is a good time to call or IM.
I’ll be setting up a public Skype account where people can leave messages and comments. I’ll use these for Q&A videos.
I’ve also been working on pages at various social networking sites for the trip. I have a list of sites I’ve set up a presence on the right. If you have an account on any of listed networking sites, please feel free to list Everything Everywhere as a friend. (No. Serioulsy. Please!)
Update: I’ve pushed my move out date from March 2 to March 12 to give me more time to move everything out. 3 weeks was sort of pushing it.
Putting your whole life into boxes is a very odd experience.
Its not the same thing as putting stuff into boxes when you move. That’s a temporary thing and the stuff will be out of the boxes very soon. I’m putting stuff into boxes that wont be opened in years. When you do that, it’s almost like your burying the stuff you box up. You think about where and when you got it, who was with you, and why you haven’t done more with it.
I also have a ton of clothes, which is odd because I really don’t wear a lot of clothes. I have an entire box of socks. I have like four boxes of sweaters…and I rarely wear sweaters. I had several pair of old boxers with hearts and other valentines shit on them from old girlfriends. I threw them out figuring 1) I’d never wear them outside of some special “occasion”, and 2) if said “occasion” should arise, I doubt if any lady friend would want we wearing boxers given to me by an old girlfriend.
I really should be throwing out/donating much more than I am, but right now I’d rather just get everything boxed up and ready to move. I can deal with that stuff later on. I’m setting aside a small cache of clothes that I’ll be wearing between now and when I leave the country.
I hope to have all my clothes packed by end end of today. That should be a pretty good head start.
Today I sign the purchase agreement on my house. As of then, I have till March 2 to vacate the premises and put all my possessions into storage.
22 days to box up my entire life and put it in a garage. 22 days to tie up all the loose ends I have left over in my life. 22 days to say goodbye. 22 days to get get ready.
Its seldom that there are objective days when your life changes and you know it ahead of time. On March 1st I’ll go to bed in my house. On March 2nd I’ll go to bed somewhere else, because I’ll no longer have a bed of my own. That’s a pretty big change. I’ll have no home.
As I meet new people, the subject of my trip always comes up and the reaction I get is almost always the same. Their jaw drops and they say things like “That is so cool” or “I wish I could do that”. I have to say I’ve been very surprised at everyone’s reaction. I’m in a very unique position. Many people who might want to make such a trip seldom have the means. Those with the means usually can’t break away. Over the course of your life you have responsibilities such as school, debt, a job, a mortgage, a spouse, children, and a host of other things that come along with contemporary life. You can’t just walk away from the things you’ve committed yourself to and once those commitments are gone, you probably have accumulated several more.
So I sit on the precipice of something very very few people get to experience in their lives: total and absolute freedom. No mortgage. No job. No wife. No kids. No parents in a nursing home. No mortgage. No debt. No anything. Complete and absolute freedom to go wherever and whenever you wish.
I’ll be honest and say this is pretty appealing. Its something that even the Bill Gates’s of the world never really get to experience. They have too many responsibilities and obligations. However, this doesn’t come without some cost. You have no support network behind you. Everyone of the things I listed above can be seen as a negative: no home, no job, no family, no friends, no security whatsoever. You are on your own baby, in every sense of the word.
Now that the clock as started, I’ll be posting a lot more and you should see some major changes here in the next few weeks.