Go See Run Eat Drink... done

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The time has come to put this blog to bed.  It’s fulfilled its purpose, and there just isn’t anything more to say on the subject.  Hell, even the prodigal package from Africa has now completed its journey.  Go See Run Eat Drink was always intended to be just what’s in the title: “My year travelling the world – the getting ready, the going, and the coming home.”  So I wrote about getting ready for the trip – researching gear choices, planning the itinerary, and dealing with the anxieties of such a major life upheaval.  And then I was off and I wrote about the trip.  God, did I write – 275 posts in all.  (Aside: Before leaving I told my Dad, a decidedly non-techno type, that I’d figure out how to print out the blog posts and mail them to him periodically. (Of course Karen ended up being the one to do all this… I just emailed her the files.)  I even made up a binder with a nice blog-themed cover and filled it with all the posts up to that date and gave it to him for Christmas 2008.  By the time I finally fetched up on his doorstep again in June of 2010 the blog printouts had swelled out of their original binder and filled TWO more, all three of which were being leant out to other non-techno people in a weird sort of Luddite Valley Post system. But honestly, THREE binders?  I need an editor!)

I wrote about camping with hashers in Scotland, and hangovers in Russia and dead computers in Copenhagen and lost wallets in Barcelona and marathons in Athens and dodgy cab rides in Nairobi… and that was only the first half of the trip.  I wrote about places and people and things (and food!), and also about how I felt about it all, and about when I got cranky or homesick or just tired of living out of a suitcase.  There was also a lot that didn’t make it into the blog, but frankly that stuff is none of your damned business.  If you wanted to get the WHOLE whole story, you should have come with me (like Laurie and Patti!).

Me and Patti.  Oh, and the Taj Mahal.

And then I came home.  There were a few posts after I got back, but essentially that’s where the story ended.  Now my life has, naturally, entered a whole new phase.  I knew when I got back from the trip that I’d end up living in a new city, with a new job, and that the blog would be over, just like the trip.  It all seems like it was a hundred years ago, and now I look back at old blog posts almost as if I’m reading about someone else’s life. 
I hoped that I’d be able to write some kind of grand summing up post to end it all with great insight and clarity.  Clearly that’s not going to happen, so instead we exit with a bit of a whimper.  As for insight and clarity, I’m not sure I can say that I was profoundly changed by my travels.  I’m the same person I was before, except now I’m just a bit more, well, worldly.  I think I’ve got a broader perspective now and I’m definitely more confident and more easy-going.  Travelling around the world, especially (mostly) alone for an extended amount of time requires a level of flexibility that was not a big part of my personality before.  And now people laugh when I claim that I’m basically an introvert.  I mean you just CAN’T be an introvert when you spend a year interacting with strangers all day, every day, so I guess now I’m a recovering introvert. Also, I can sleep almost anywhere, and my hair is longer.  But inside? Still Pam.

Of course that doesn’t mean nothing’s changed.  On the contrary, almost everything has changed.  I’m not just living in a different city, I’m living on a different continent, and that’s something I would never have contemplated if I hadn’t taken the plunge, chucked out my old life, and turned my face to something completely new.  It’s not been a cakewalk so far, this new life, but I think it’s got potential, and I’m glad I’m doing it.  And I’m definitely glad I did the trip.  For all those of you who hear about a trip like mine and say, “Oh, I wish I could do something like that.” I say, “You can.  All you have to do is quit your job and sell your house.”  Easy.  Ok, maybe not easy, but definitely worth it.

Vic Falls
One of the best days of the trip. Or of my life.  Standing in the water at the edge of Victoria Falls. Like I said… worth it.

And that’s all there is to say.  “Go See Run Eat Drink: My year travelling the world – the getting ready, the going and the coming home.”  It did what it said on the tin.  And now it’s done.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

(Oh, and for those of you who want to read whatever happens to cross my mind these days… click here.)