Find a mover, get moving boxes, put our worldly possessions in storage, jump on a plane and visit Chicago, Seattle, Victoria & San Francisco, be treated to a myriad of delicious meals with lovely company of friends and family, shed the remaining belongings that won’t accompany us for the coming months, check the last items off the task list—travel insurance & the like, return the rental car, pass through security & through the gate at SFO……. 8:20am wheels up SFO-IAH for leg one of the multi-leg journey to Boka Kotorska in Montenegro!
Thinking back to past trips I’ve taken, this feels so different – not sure if it’s simply due to experience at this point, but the world feels smaller than it used to. Gone are the days when the only way to stay in touch was to make a 2 impulskart call from a Prague phone booth home and have my parents call me back on the payphone to save money – today’s travel comes equipped with cell phones that work anywhere in the world and (shameless T-Mobile plug) offer free data & texting in most countries. The backpack feels a bit lighter than the past – a combination of realizing that the weird travel gadgets I’ve brought in the past are just useless weight and the fact that my pack is no longer burdened by the weight of multiple Europe on a Shoestring guidebooks. Instead I’m writing this on a 9” 2-1 tablet with a keyboard. An iPad you ask? Nope, old habits die hard, and I went to my favorite computer store, the Microsoft Store in U. Village Seattle to make my second computer purchase from there.
This was also the most organized I’ve ever been in terms of packing my backpack – I was doing test packs of it months ago back in NYC and purchased a (not cheap) set of Eagle Creek packing cubes to make my Osprey top-loader easy to pack and unpack quickly. I’m rolling with a 50L Osprey Atmos, a pack I’ve travelled with in the past on several trips and one that I actually find wildly comfortable. 50L isn’t exactly spacious though however, so the packing cubes helped me a great deal. I decided to get a little fold-up Eagle Creek daypack that I am storing inside the pack itself to overcome the Osprey’s greatest shortcoming – the lack of a daypack.
The past 7 years we’ve moved so many times that travel, even for a long period like this no longer seems foreign. Instead of packing up all our things and moving from Seattle to NYC, this time we are simply moving to the world.
It’s remarkable how quickly I forget the daily habits of NYC as well, even before our trip really starts. A couple days after leaving work I noticed the “Good App” still on my phone and stupidly clicked to see if it still worked. It did, strangely and I clicked in to read the first email before realizing there was no reason why I would want to do that. I quickly deleted it from my iPhone and all the thoughts about budgets, email programs, segmentation & such slipped away from my head much faster than I expected it to! Soon the days started to blend together, how strange – I expected to feel this a couple weeks in to our time in Montenegro but not in Chicago before even leaving. How strange to be able to define our days…. A walk along the water in Chicago, sitting in my favorite parks in Seattle, a Michelin quality dinner in Napa sitting outside watching our final US sunset for some time.
After Houston, there’s another leg over to Munich, then Belgrade, and finally a short hop down to Tivat airport, a short distance from the place we will call home for the next month – Kotor. With each flight the day to day will fade more and more and this will all feel that much more real – the beginning of a trip to all the destinations we’ve talked about visiting over the past years and cringed when we imagined squeezing them into a 10 day trip. Instead we embark to find a pattern, find our lives and day to day in the many cultures we will visit & many new cities, towns & villages we will explore. The next time I write will most likely be with a backdrop of the Boka Kotorska and the crystal blue waters outside our door.
America, it’s not you, it’s me – but regardless I’m looking to some much needed time apart. See you for Christmas….