Thursday, March 21, 2013

On planning, but not really planning. (But really, lots and lots of planning.)

Today is March 21.

We officially drive out of Portland on April 21.

Holy.  Crap.

This is not like packing up for a 3-week trip to New Zealand or Argentina, which we both did independently last year.

This is not like when I left for South America for four months in 2010.  I downsized, sure, but I left essentials in a 5x10 storage unit and I knew exactly when I was coming back.

This is actually a pretty big deal.

Almost every day now, one of us looks up and says "gaaaaaaaaaa we have so much to do!!!"  This causes a temporary panic and we go to the list... and then we calm down because we have crossed so many things off lately.  We've figured out daily budgets, packing lists, and health/travel insurance (more to come on all these later).  We have a list of visa requirements for the countries we know we want to visit, most of which we can get upon arrival, some of which we will need to take care of on the east coast where we'll also get our extra passport photos, Hostel International memberships and vaccinations (and where we will figure out what to do with Patrick's car).  We've set up general methods of communication including but not limited to what you're reading here (see "find us on" sidebar). 

We have the Canada leg pretty well lined up and we have all sorts of maps to get us to our various destinations (thanks, awesome future WWOOF hosts and AAA).  We're on alert for Skyscanner cheap flights to Poland in late August/early September.  And as far as the post-Canada portion of our trip... other than having a general destination and general route, We. Don't. Want. To. Plan.

We have tons of great advice from people we didn't even know would have advice.  (That's probably been the most amazing discovery over the last few weeks. Networking is easy when you find folks who are in the same frame of mind as you.)  So far no one has raised a question or concern that we haven't already thought about.

Granted, there are lots of little things to check off:
  • notifying the landlord, utilities, banks and credit card companies
  • shipping "must keep" memorabilia to safe havens or dropping personal boxes off with gracious friends who have offered to host a small space of stuff for us
  • determining the best cloud storage option for our music and photos for easy (and weightless) access on the road
  • trying to see our favorite Portland bands one last time
  • last visits with family and friends
  • selling my car and prepping for our moving sale in a few weeks (gaaaaaaaaa okay, those are not so little)
So we do one or two little things, and then we go for a run or I do yoga while he reads and then we watch a fascinating documentary about domes

While our daily freak-outs continue and will probably increase in frequency and duration over the next four weeks, I feel pretty good about what we've already accomplished and I am pretty confident that we know what we have to accomplish in the next few weeks and later on the east coast.  I'm grateful for my years of project management experience. I'm grateful for all the internet advice that has helped us get to this point.  I'm grateful for my east coast family and friends who will help us wrap up our task list later this summer. I'm grateful to have a partner in crime who helps me through my daily freak-outs, and who is just as eager as I am to check things off the list.

But mostly, I'm just grateful to have a moment of peace in a crowded bar where we can celebrate this milestone.  One more month!

Dry Fly Wheat, Yamazaki

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