Random thoughts on the last week

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Has anyone ever started an Around-The-World trip with the first stop in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan?

Well I'm here now, in the loving embrace of family and wireless high speed internet access. I'm taking this chance to plan the England leg of my trip, which looks like it will involve visiting quite a few relatives, some of whom I've never met, and some of whom I met perhaps 20 years ago. I am, however, assured that they will all be thrilled to see me, and may even consent to picking me up at train stations and supplying me with pull-out couches and other amenities.


I booked my hostel for the first few nights in London, and am quite keen about it. Smart Russell Square gets good reviews, is centrally located, and claims to be quite new. I like it because it's got little curtains around all the bunks, so there's a semblance of privacy even though I'll be in a 4 bed dorm. Also, the price is quite remarkably cheap - about $35 CDN per night!


Getting out of the house was a lot of work and emotionally tough. I remember sitting among the remains of my possessions trying to figure out what to do next... pack this? No, call this person. No, wait, check that website... no, really pack something, for God's sake, anything. JUST PICK UP SOMETHING AND PUT IT IN A BOX... And then I stopped and tried to figure out how I got to this point. Really, I had a great job, a beautiful house, better friends than I realized, and a really damned good life. Exactly what was wrong with that?

Then I snapped out of it, and got on with it. Oh, and after all my whining about downsizing, I can report that in the end I did get rid of my couch. A quick sketch of the outline of the couch inside a 5' x 10' storage space, along with the general tendency to purge that comes from selling most of what you own, made it a relatively easy decision.

In fact, it turns out that 5' x 10' was ample. Look at all that empty space!


It was a tough finally leaving Winnipeg this morning, there was more running around and there were, of course, more goodbyes. I've said good bye to a LOT of people in the last week. My recommendation to anyone else planning something like this is: either sneak out of town without telling anyone and then send them an email when you're gone, or carry a backpack full of kleenex at all times. It was hard.

Universally, though, people are happy for me. Everyone gave me a hug and told me a variation of the following three things:
  1. Have fun.
  2. Stay safe.
  3. Tell us all about it.
To which my standard response is:
  1. I hope so.
  2. I'll try.
  3. That's the plan.
Ok, when I say "everyone", what I meant is "everyone except Steve", who said:
  1. Have fun.
  2. Stay safe.
  3. Eat something weird in every country you go to. (And then he grabbed my ass... ah, I will miss you hasher boys...)
If you ever want to learn how many friends you have, I'd advise you to make plans to leave town on a big adventure and never return. That's when you'll find out how many people whose lives you've been a part of. It's humbling and fantastic.


Karen said...

Steve did what? Ha ha! Good send off Steve!

Steve said...

Well I couldn't let her leave without one...

Unknown said...

LMAO... Nice Steve!!

Mulan said...

Is Steve cute? I have an ass....

Natalie Duhamel, HHC said...

Ha ha ha ha. Not surprising. I got smacked on the ass with some sort of wooden implement at the garage sale. I'm in the Steve Touched My Ass Club. Should we start a Facebook Group?

Seriously though, don't forget the #1 Golden Rule: Don't hold anything for anyone :-) Do have fun, we will miss you.

Unknown said...

It is the beginning of a great adventure...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Ian Timshel said...

You've got it it going on. :)

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Helen Keller

kim aka bdb said...

I am also in the Steve-grabbed-my-ass club...it was on the premis that he was helping me up a hill during hash. I'd only met him once before that intimate encounter I believe. Too funny....

Lisa said...

Another one for the club...but slightly creepy considering he is my brother..;))))

I missed the tears, but that was probably a good thing because I would have had to borrow some of your kleenex for my own.

I know you will have an absolute blast. You are that kind of person. A part of me envies what you are doing, and another part is freaked by the thought of doing just that. Be brave! I will miss you!

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