The Final Four

Dave and I prepping for a much needed 1 week summer vacation—likely the last one-week vacation I will have for quite awhile. And likely the last travel experience we’ll have as real vacationers and not backpackers. While mid way through packing it occurred to me that when we return we will be embarking on our final 4 months of work. August will be spent dealing with the final travel shots, September will be for filing out visa applications and gathering paperwork. In October, we’ll be sorting and packing up the remaining ‘excess’ items in our single room we’ve been renting out. And in November -we’ll accomplish the unthinkable and submit resignations with no future employment plans. I’ve tried to prepare for this for over two years—7 years if we count from the time we first discussed a trip like this. I remain eager with anticipation yet incredibly nervous. There is simply no amount of preparation one can accomplish to make this step easy. Every travel blogger I read has experienced this, and so far no one has found this process to be free of anxiety. But it’s anxiety in the best way possible. It’s the platinum version.

We’ll start traveling in early December, spending most of that time visiting friends and family- eventually making our way down the coast for a flight out of LAX in mid January. The six weeks between departing work and departing the USA will be relatively unplanned and spontaneous. We know only our final stop and will figure out the overland travel as we go. This six weeks will be the best backpacking preparation we’ll have; we shall consider it our dress rehearsal.

We have 4 months. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ve dreamed about writing that for so long that it’s hard for me to believe it’s here. It still doesn’t seem entirely real. I feel like there is somehow a disconnect between my future and my present. I thought the disconnect would scatter when we rented out our house, but it remains just as strong. I suppose when you are setting out into the unknown, time is not the thing that offers clarity- experience is the only answer. The unknown will remain that way for another 4 months, and we’ll have to learn to live our lives that way. Every step is a new perspective, and to be good at this way of life is to accept.

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