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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Letting go

I feel I should write a post on the eve of our going, because this is a bigger trip than any I've ever been on before. In fact, it's not really a trip, in the sense of traveling someplace and then returning. The house we normally come back to will be lived in by somebody else, and there is no return ticket.

Indietraveller.co reckons that most longterm travelers spent much more time than they need to planning their itinerary in advance, while devoting too little time to packing well. I am starting to wonder though if we have erred in the opposite direction. A long period of time has gone into preparation and getting the backpack exactly right, while almost every detail of our itinerary is up in the air! Or sea, or overland.

The "before" picture
This morning when I was running errand #1,000,000, I glanced through the window of an independent coffeeshop (yes, they exist) and saw a guy who looked pretty carefree. He was sitting on a stool with his laptop out, looking as if he were musing on something rather than doing work. He was wearing a casual cap and flip flops. Perhaps a traveling writer, I thought, making his lightweight way around the world.

Around the corner in front of the coffeeshop, I saw a woman with a duffel bag who looked considerably more haggard. I don't think she was homeless, in the indefinite sense that none of us would choose; but she did look as if both she and her bag had been on the road too long. I am now wondering if I am more likely to look like that in months or years.

When you live in a house, you're in danger of tucking stuff away and forgetting you ever had it. I'd never lived in a house before, since my parents' growing up, so I was in for a shock. Thank goodness I started lists of tasks and sorting through papers, etc. in my study (also known as Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs) months ago. Otherwise the temptation would be just to throw everything in the recycling center when we make our final (?) visit this afternoon.

Other than one unfortunate incident with the potato masher, though, it's been pretty smooth sailing. The guy at the storage center helpfully suggested that as we have multiple industrial-sized rolls of bubble wrap, if the stress of moving gets too much we can always use some for stress relief. We may yet make use of that!

George Carlin used to go on about "stuff" and I know what he means. I was feeling pretty good about the fact that for every box we are storing, another box's worth has been donated to charity or at worst recycled. We have not gotten rid of all the furniture however, so the real test will be when the big items are moved. Good luck to the men tomorrow. 

If you don't hear from The Discreet Traveler again, I'll be bouncing around the unit padded with bubble wrap.



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