Operation Leaving “Home”. My rambling thoughts.
Is your glass half full or half empty? When do you stop bitching about something and finally realize that it’s actually an “opportunity worth seizing” because timing is everything in life?
Well, I figured, 5 things that shackle people down to a less travel-flexible lifestyle did not exist in mine. I decided to see my glass half full with what I “don’t have”. I don’t have a serious relationship. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t have children. I don’t have pets. And I don’t have any debt. In summary, I’m not “tied down”. So, I am free to roam.
Traveling; something that I’ve daydreamed about for many years. Something that I’m always talking about. Finally, I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I just wanted to try and do it. I’d rather try and fail than to wonder what could be.
I’ve always been obsessed with the possibility of world travel, but then I really started to obsess with the thought of “what if I really do go?” So, slowly, I started preparing myself with the idea to travel solo and explore wherever I can around the world. An adventure that could take as long as a couple of months to a couple of years. Who knows. Why limit myself to a set timeframe? I think to myself, better now than later (or in some cases, better than never).
Am I scared or nervous? Sure. Am I excited and eager? Mos def.
Giving up my “daily” life in San Francisco, my apartment, career, friends, loved ones, and beautiful city that I’ve grown to call my “home” for the last 8 years has proven more difficult than I had imagined. As I started to pack up my life, eliminate unnecessary things and parting with “stuff”, I realized how much I loved where I lived and the life I had created for myself. However, where I was headed will undoubtably be more exciting. (No offense to the current life I am moving on from.)
Getting rid of my belongings probably took me more time than most people, (I’m guessing) because I’m emotionally attached to things. I’m sentimental and nostalgic. I reminisce. I hold on. But, I learned to separate what was replaceable from what wasn’t and from what I really didn’t want to have to hunt for again upon my return. When I first planned to leave for RTW travel, I idealistically imagined getting rid of EVERYTHING. Yeah right. Who was I kidding? (Oh right, I was kidding myself.)
As my “cleanse” started, I became very emotional. I came across things that I’ve literally held on to for decades. I’ve lived in 3 west coast states and moved from several houses in different cities growing up, but I always had the option to hold on to things because I was moving “somewhere” with 4 walls and a roof. However, this time I wasn’t “moving” somewhere. I was simply “going” somewhere. And this “somewhere” that I’m going to wasn’t gonna be mine. So, I needed to uproot and detach from as much as I could.
I am lucky I was able to store some things in my cousin’s garage. Just to be clear, I made quite the effort to rid myself of about 80+% of my “stuff” and it was very much a cleanse. But there really are things that I wasn’t comfortable parting with. And by “comfortable”, I mean, I would most likely regret not having it when I come back. I also shipped a couple of boxes up to Seattle to my sister’s (where I will be headed to store the other half of my belongings and car). So, the rest had to fit in my small ‘99 Toyota Corolla or it had to go to donation. I also decided to keep my car instead of selling it. My reasoning? I purchased my car brand new from the lot. I was its first and only owner. I treat it well and take care of it. I know EXACTLY what it is capable of and know that, aside from its age, it runs WELL. I knew that I would need a car when I return and instead of spending a couple thousand on a used car, and not fully knowing its history, versus having a car and knowing everything about its history, I went with the latter. Especially since I wouldn’t really be getting much if I sold it now and would have to spend more for something not as good.
I gave my landlords my notice. Now I had a final date of when I turn in my keys and would become “homeless”. And so, things started to rock and roll. The selling, the giving, the donating, the trashing, the recycling, and the packing. Then came the cleaning and scrubbing of the apartment. And then, lastly, came the good-byes and the see-you-laters. I considered pulling a ninja move and just disappearing to save myself from any farewells because I’m a professional “boo-hoo-er” and I wanted to save myself from emotional exhaustion. It was selfish, and I was only thinking about what I didn’t want to go through. It’s not like I was going away forever…but…I’m not 100% sure I’m coming back to San Francisco either. Why? Well…I just don’t know what opportunities a couple of months to a couple of years away will present me with from today. So THAT is why I was so sad to leave my friends. I don’t know how long until I get to see them again. Of course my friends expected that I had a farewell party, however, I hadn’t decided if I wanted one.
The last week snuck up on me rather quickly and I finally decided I had to hold some sort of gathering. My friend helped me draft up an invite and I had him make a note that there is to be no talk about “travel” that night. One simple rule for the night. I didn’t want to sound like a broken record the entire night from one friend to another. I also didn’t want to talk about “leaving” because my tear ducts are faulty and leak quite easily. I wanted to remember my last night out with my friends as something that we always did. Nothing out of the norm. I wanted the normality. Overall, the rule was pretty successful and we closed the bar down on a Sunday night. Very typical of us.