It’s 10:40 pm. The movers arrive tomorrow morning at nine to pack my worldy possessions and move them to Vancouver. I have no idea if I’m ready. I don’t know how to know if I’m ready.
Yesterday and today are a vague haze of sorting, filtering, stacking and moving. Mostly, I’m sorting everything into two categories: keep, and discard. The discard pile is huge. I’ve already made two trips to Salvation Army, dropping off everything from fans to a computer printer to 13 grocery bags’ worth of clothing. Every time I think I’ve got everything figured out I open a new door (such as the one to the garage) and discover more stuff. Man I’ve got a lot of stuff — and I don’t even have that much. Discarding and donating so much is proving both difficult (having to part with my delicious collection of more than 25 mustards and vinegars, for example) and rewarding (finally getting rid of the world’s most annoying clock radio).
There’s something very gratifying about boiling down your possessions. What do I really need? It reminds me of my bicycle trip, where I reduced everything to the essentials that I could hang off my bike frame. I’m going through the same process again, only I’ll be carrying even less than I did four years ago. Granted, there’s more stuff going into storage this time around, but I’m not just keeping stuff because I have it — I’m keeping stuff because I want it.
I can’t decide if there’s some metaphorical comparison I can make relating my lack of readiness for the move and my lack of readiness for the trip in general. If anything, I’m less prepared for the trip than for the arrival of the movers tomorrow. Other than a destination (Mexico) and general timeframe (6 weeks), I’ve done no other planning. I’m expecting things to just kind of take care of themselves. I guess the same applies to the move — people will arrive and start packing up my stuff, and if there’s a problem then I’ll deal with it at the time.
Dealing with the mechanics of the departure has definitely taken my attention away from the trip itself. Kate and I could be departing to our separate destinations in a little more than a week or so (depending when we finally get our plane tickets), and neither of us has spent much time thinking about what’s going to happen when we get there. We’ve been kept very busy packing, moving, getting shots, seeing friends, and generally tying our Seattle lives into convenient little storable bundles.
Kate and I had lunch with Ben and Vija Williams (world travelers and former web-travelogue editors) last Saturday. They are recenty back from their own round-the-world journey and we spent a few hours talking and watching their travel videos. It was great to finally spend some time casting our eyes forward to what we’re going to experience. There is a reason we’re going through all this hassle — and it’s a very cool one.
The next time I write, it’ll be from my parent’s house in Vancouver. Now, I need to pack up the computer.