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Monday, November 21, 2011

Maybe this is how Sisyphus felt

Now that we are less than a month away from our launch date, reality is starting to set in.  This is real.  We are about to leave our home, our family, our friends, our pets, our jobs and explore the world for as long as a year with our kids. Maybe longer. The past ten months have been filled with constant preparation and planning, and the last five or six weeks have been non-stop in that mode. We've been pushing this boulder up a steep slope for quite some time, and now the pinnacle is in sight.  It's thrilling to see the finish line, but at the same time, it's frightening to think that once we reach the top and gravity starts to take effect on that boulder, there's no stopping it.  It will hurtle down the other side, taking us with it for better or worse.  As we collectively use our strength to continue to move toward the summit, Annie and I are checking off the various boxes of items we need to complete before we launch.  The biggest one right now is getting our visas processed for China, Vietnam and India.  Most countries where visas are needed require a passport-sized photo for all four of us, and processing that many photos can be expensive.  So we have been taking our own pictures and trying to make our own photos. Some of the pics, mostly of me, have looked like mug shots, but the others are seeming to be acceptable.  

We are also getting organized when it comes to packing.  Each one of us has a suitcase with wheels that can also go on our backs and that has a detachable backpack. 

We learned when we took a trip to Europe last fall that at times it's a great idea to be able to just throw everything you have on your back and start walking, instead of having a rolling suitcase or two as we did on that trip.  With the amount of work that's involved in putting together a trip of this magnitude, it's easy to lose sight of the substance of what we're doing.  To appreciate the wonderful sights and experiences we will have as a unit.  Watching the Amazing Race (of all things) the other night brought our attention to part of a poem from Hans Christian Andersen that really hit home for us as we get closer to the start of our travels.  It's from "The Fairy Tale of My Life":  "To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give.  To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live."  We've got some living to do!