it's the day before I leave for Asia, and I'm sitting on my bed in my parents' house, surrounded by visual evidence that I am obviously preparing to go on a long trip. copies of my passport, sensible pants, tank tops for layering, extra passport photos, dog-eared copies of Lonely Planet guidebooks, ziploc bags of socks and cheap shower flip-flops lay in somewhat-organized piles around me, waiting to be placed into packing cubes and organized into my freshly-purchased backpack.
apparently I leave tomorrow. my brain knows this to be true, but the rest of me has yet to absorb what this really means. eight weeks of adventure and all-you-can-eat asian food await me... or, to spin it another way, eight weeks of navel-gazing and endless pondering... or, to spin it another way, eight weeks of living out of of one bag with only one lip product (whatever will I do?? well, maybe I'll bring two) and sharing bathrooms with strangers in backpacker hostels.
you know how when you spend a long time preparing for one big event, talking to everyone you know about the big event, making major decisions about the big event, spending considerable money on the big event, writing endless lists about the big event, and then finally that big event is HERE! and you're so overwhelmed by it all that you almost want to back out? that's sort of how I feel right now. my friend likened it to wedding planning, but having never been married, I only have my own life experience to work with and the build-up to this trip is like nothing else I've ever experienced. in preparation for this trip, I quit my job, sold my car, moved out of my apartment, drove halfway across the country and am temporarily living with my parents. to say that expectations are high for this trip is the understatement of the year (but it's only January, so I am fairly certain I will make at least one other understatement in the eleven months that remain)... I am hopeful, though, that the trip will be better than I could have imagined.
so, then, welcome to the blog. pull up a seat, pour yourself a drink, put your feet up and stay for awhile. for those of you who were readers of my previous Austin blog, you'll get a giggle out of the title. I'm going to do my best to keep this updated while I'm on the road so you guys can keep up with my adventures. I also promise to limit the heavy-duty navel-gazing to my personal journal so that the blog is more about travel stories. one request: please leave me comments! my phone has been disabled for the trip (although you can text me), and although I think I can be pretty freaking fantastic I'm sure I'll tire of my own company after, oh, about day two, so consider this a desperate plea for comments from the peanut gallery!
see you on the flip side (aka China).