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The Final Countdown

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

doo do doo doo, do do do do doooo….It’s the final countdown….

Well, here it is, only 5 days before I depart on my trip. Where did the time go? I’ve spent the last few weeks shopping for gear, catching up on sleep, finalizing my packing lists, and just chilling out. Lots of happy hours too, and catching up with friends before I leave. 

I’m the type of person who keeps lots of lists, worries about the details, and always feels like I have too much to do. So you can imagine what trying to plan and prepare for a 9 month trip must be like for me. But the whole purpose of this trip is to relax and have fun and try some new things. So the first new thing I have to try is to not worry about it so much. I keep telling myself to just throw some things in a bag and go. The rest will take care of itself. (It somehow always does.) Part of what makes this trip so exciting for me is the unknown.

That said, there were two important pieces of gear that I spent a lot of time shopping for: a good backpack and hiking boots. For the next 9 months I will be living out of a backpack, so it had better be up to the task. And I love to hike, not to mention I’ll be spending a week trekking up Kilimanjaro, so a quality pair of boots is important.

And the winners are… [read on]

Off the Wheel…

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Last Tuesday was my last day at work. So now I’m both homeless and unemployed. Or as one friend put it, I’m a “man of leisure.” I think I like the sound of that.

I have to give a shout out to my former colleagues. The last five years working at the University of Oregon Foundation we’re really great. I worked with a lot of awesome people, learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and even made an ok living. If it weren’t for that job I wouldn’t be able to do this trip.

A week or so ago my boss asked me what was the first thing I was going to do once I didn’t have to go to work. My initial response was the usual responsible one. “Maybe sleep in a little, go to a doctor’s appointment, and probably run a bunch of errands,” I said. But a couple days later, I had to rethink that. Knowing me and my friends, I knew the correct answer was really “Recovering from a hangover.” Turns out both answers were correct. I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve started getting all the shots and pills I need for my trip. On Wednesday morning I had to go to the clinic and get a couple of shots and also start my Typhoid vaccine. This is an oral vaccine that needs to be taken on an empty stomach, and you can’t eat for an hour afterwards. So I got to suffer through a horrendous hangover without being able to drink any coffee or eat any food. What the hell was I thinking when I planned that one?

Anyway, once I was able to eat and caffeinate, the hangover subsided and I spent the rest of the day shopping for gear. I’m supposed to be packing up what’s left of my belongings to put into storage (Thanks, Jeff!) and here I am buying more stuff. Go figure. But I got some cool gear, and the nice thing about shopping in February is almost everything is on sale. So far I haven’t paid full price for anything. I’ll post the list of goodies later. In the meantime, anyone want to buy some “business casual” wear?