We’re at the ten day mark for our departure, and the days just keep on coming. This past Saturday afternoon was our going away party, with friends and family and fun times. We enjoyed some excellent food, lots and lots of fun conversations, and a handful of final hugs goodbye. John’s family and mine were able to drive in from out of town, and many, many good friends from our years in Athens joined us for drop in bits of time. We studied maps with five-year-olds, karaoked with high school friends, and brunched the next morning after too little sleep.
Boxes – empty and full – litter pretty much every room in the house, and our donation pile has reformed itself after each of our four trips to the Salvation Army. Each evening includes dinner with at least one friend, followed by packing, followed by a Game of Thrones episode (just started season five!) and a too-late bedtime. We’re getting all our tedious loose ends tied up – travel alerts for credit cards, mail forwarding, landscaping arrangements, and the ever-so-dull pressure washing estimates. My days are spent alternating between oven cleaning, bathtub scrubbing, blog posting, errand running, regular old work, and the like. Oh, and some online shopping. I must have solid black flats for the trip, right? The yard sale pile for this weekend continues to grow, as do the scribbles on our calendar for social events in these last few days.
The saying goodbyes and the final trips to various restaurants create quite the bit of nostalgia. Our final trip to the Grit, my last meal at Taco Stand, our last Quaker Meeting. It’s amazing, especially for me, because I’ve done this all before. I’ve said all these goodbyes; I’ve walked into this unknown before. We don’t know exactly how long we’ll be going. We don’t know exactly what we’ll be doing. We know that we’re going to wander the hotspots of Brisbane with resumes (oh! I should add printing resumes to our tedious loose ends to do list). We don’t know what to expect in any shape, form, or fashion. Our path will form itself, and we’ll embrace whatever uncertainty faces us. Of course, we’ll do it together. Nevertheless, it’s daunting. It’s frightening. No amount of blog reading, Wikitravel researching, and/or worrying makes it go away.
It’s soon! We’ll have a blast. We’ll take fantastic photos and enjoy experiences of our lifetimes. We’ll be petrified of snakes and amazed by coral and confused by accents and abbreviations. But, in the midst of it all, we’ll remember our well-furnished kitchen fondly. We’ll fall asleep on our twin-sized bed (sans mattress) in Nepal, remembering fondly our oh-so-comfortable bed here. Despite all of the lack of familiarity and accounting for all the ups and downs, though, we will of course have a wonderful trip. In these moments of nostalgia and fear and uncertainty, that is, of course, the fact to remember!