Weary to the bone. Droop-eyed. Screaming muscles. I’m walking 3+ miles/5km a day these days and “rude awakening” doesn’t begin to describe it after two years of sedentary life. It’s over 35 kilometres in 7 days. I don’t think I’ve walked that in 10 weeks before now. The travel life looms, so I consider this a dress rehearsal.*
So, no, I wasn’t planning on stopping to write for you at 10:42 on this Friday night… but, really, this is for me.
I may never again know this incredible mental and spiritual thrill — watching the final hours tick off before a life-long dream and life-changing adventure begins.
But here I am, just 72 hours from closing in on Iceland for my quick layover before landing in London, where I welcome the new phase of my life with the help of an old school friend.
A week from tonight, I will have dined on some great food, slept a little, and I might be about to wander out for a midnight snack at a wine bar, thanks to jetlag on my first night in Croatia.
I don’t know how many people ever get to feel this — the sense of being a weekend away from the beginning of a lifelong dream. Even fewer still will have come to this after nearly dying a couple times, getting a brain injury, and all the other shit that happened to me in my 30s, from living with cockroaches while my back was blown through to losing all my savings.
Well, I sure flipped the script on that. Now everything ahead of me is all “la vita è bella” — or the beautiful life, like the Italians say.
I needed to stop tonight, to take this moment in. I have spontaneously cried twice tonight. Not because I’m sad or happy, but because I’m so damned proud and grateful. I kept this goal in mind daily for 2.5 years. I never stopped fighting for it.
The week I bought my airplane tickets, at the end of April, it turned out to be five years exactly from the week I nearly lost my home after the 2010 Olympics and I didn’t have money for rent. I wound up selling some gold jewelry and one of my mom’s antiques in order to make rent. When I realized that after I had bought the tickets, I bawled. Just WOW. What a coincidence.
I don’t know how I kept my faith in those darker times, but I did, and now here I am. After weeks of being so tired I could cry, I’m almost done all the madness. Onto the adventure.
Thanks for all your support. Here’s where things get fun. I’ll give you whiplash with how slow I can go after putting my work pedal to the metal for 33 months. So slow. Europe, I’m ready for you!
*Within 4 weeks I would have walked 17km in one day. Had you told me that when I wrote this, I would have laughed at you. Travel, man…
Somehow, this entry speaks to me right now, not so much because of the travel, but of the way you relate experiences of your lifestyle in previous parts of your life. You have a free-wheelin spirit, not to be underestimated. 🙂