This thinking about leaving the country indefinitely is having a good and unexpected effect on me – it’s teaching me to let go of everything and I’m finding it very liberating. If there’s something that’s just not working out the way I wanted, it’s okay. I may be gone by next summer anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Just let it go and move on. I like this. I should have done this years ago. Stop holding onto things that don’t cut it. Move on and find things that do.
The point is no longer to collect things that may be useful, the question is now how to get rid of everything so I don’t have to find a place to store it. I wonder if I could reduce everything I need to a single backpack. I’ll need a small computer and a camera, a few clothes that don’t take up much space, and that’s about it, right? That plus my favorite water bottle and a passport. A Kindle so I can study the languages I’ll need and read the classics I haven’t had time for for too long. Sunglasses and sunscreen, running shoes, credit card.
I just took a stroll around the house and garage to assess what I want to keep, and it’s not much. It’ll be hard to get rid of things like climbing gear – I should store those in case I come back. Other things are easier – skis and mountain bikes and motorcycles can be replaced later. I have too many of those and cameras and backpacks and sails (I don’t even have a sailboat anymore) and other things anyway. My x-c ski pulk sled is too cool to sell, so I’ll leave it with someone who will put it to use while I’m gone. I’ll get rid of all the boxes of papers and things I’ll never look at again. Maybe I’ll have a bonfire. I might have a box or two of momentos that I really want.
I hadn’t thought much about finding someone to go with me until a student brought it up on Tuesday. He’s coming down with a mild case of wanderlust and wanted to talk about it. That led to a discussion at the beginning of class that led to this question: “If I led a tour somewhere around the world, how many of you would come?” One third of the class raised their hands. 🙂 So maybe I won’t start out alone after all, and that sounds fun.
Some of them want to go to Europe and some prefer Asia. That got me thinking about my best idea yet. Buy a one-way ticket to Paris, make my/our way to Moscow, and take the Transiberian Railroad to Ulan Bator and Beijing, then continue on south to Thailand and stay for a while. If summer gets too hot, move to Nepal and visit Everest Base Camp. I have friends living in Beijing and Viet Nam right now, so I may as well drop in there, too.
Will this really happen? Will I really go? I can’t say for sure. It probably won’t happen for at least six months, and you never know what can change in that much time. But if it’s anything like the last few years, then I’m definitely gone. I should have picked up and gone then. Ah, hindsight. I’ll keep walking that direction and see what happens.