Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crunch Time

I'm now in the month of last minute preparations. Month, because if I put it all off till the last week, I know I'd never get done what I need to.

Things I have done in the last month/few weeks:
-Updated my blog with new pages detailing my trip (if you haven't yet, check it out!)
-Outfitted my bike for touring
-Started riding my bike to work
-Received the borrowed panniers I'll be using
-Test packed the panniers, showing that I should have plenty of space
-Nailed down my route for the first couple weeks
-Re-evaluated my money for the umpteenth time, realizing that my estimates were still correct - I'll be tight, but should be able to survive.. I guess
-Loaned out a few hundred more dollars - it's like money in the bank.. that you can't spend. :D
-Became increasingly anxious over the thought of so soon losing all chance of in-person contact with my favorite people for an indefinite period of time.
-Went canoe camping for the first time (ok, not really related to the trip).
-Decided that, yes, I'll go ahead and take two shelters (hammock and bivy). If I decide I don't want one, I can ditch it or mail it back along the way.
-Made up my mind that, yes indeed, I will get a hair cut.
-Realized, yet again, that verbal conciseness is much preferred to grandiosity, and determined to act on that principal.
-Realized the extent to which ideas of things (unrelated to travel its self) change the closer I get to acting on them.
-Carried on extended conversation with a young man who walked across the US a couple years ago, and one the age of my parents who rode his bike across the US years before I was even born, giving me advice, and old equipment.
-Panicked that I might have to spend money on clothing.
-Realized there was no way I could possibly afford another lens for my camera, leaving me to be content documenting my trip with only a 50mm lens, an 85mm, and my iPhone camera. That iPhone camera could just be what I need, though. Just need to get used to using it..
-Sat in wonder at how amazing it is that the trip I've been considering for nearly two years is now only a month away.
-Continued paring down my list of potential resources, and expenses.
-Surprised myself at realizing the only category of pre-trip spending not already met is the "Miscellaneous" unknown expense category.
-Finished getting at least one half decent candid portrait of everyone in my group of friends - 'though I could still improve on a few.
-Spent more money across more things than ever before in my life. (I've bought single items that were more expensive, but never more stuff, in as short a period of time.)
-Took a last moment to wonder at the weather in these parts - sweltering in 90 degree temperatures one week, everything dry and annoying, to barely breaking 60 degrees a couple weeks later, cold, rainy..
-Drove (well, traveled by car) over some of the roads I'll be riding on - realizing that 1) the shoulders are narrow, 2) their is a fair amount of traffic, 3) the roads are windy, and 4) there are a lot of other cyclists traveling that road, in spite of the potential risks.

That seems like a much more impressive list than I was anticipating. Makes it sound like I've actually done something!

Things I have yet to do before leaving:
-Clean out my room (!)
-Figure out the sort of event I want in which to bid farewell to friends for the next year
-Sell/get rid of things I won't need either during my trip, nor will have a reason to come back to afterwards
-Continue getting in better shape
-Keep working
-Stay out of trouble
-Buy some clothing
-Work on music collection (paper, predominantly)
-Actually keep doing things

That's about all I can think of right now. Wow.. it's almost 4 weeks.. then 3 weeks.. time flies so quickly.. Before I know it my life will have forever changed in a more dramatic way than I can at this point really fathom.

I'm looking forward.. a little daunted and anxious, but excited nonetheless.