Saturday, May 10, 2008
17 hours and CHANGE...
So...in a few hours I board British Airways flight 184 for London. Damn.....I'm finally leaving.
I guess the trip to NYC now seems like it was a dress rehearsal. I had all the same gear....all the same fear and all the high expectations, but now it seems that I'm really taking a plunge.
I'm leaving and I don't know when I'm coming back.
People keep asking "where are you going?".....I say "Europe"...."where in Europe?"....with a hint of sarcasm, with embarrassment, with boastfulness I say "as far as I can get!".
Every time I say this I feel like I'm lying. Before I was worried that I might not make it to NYC....and then once I got here I felt like this might be as far as I'd go....and now I feel like I'm only gonna make it to London. Strange isn't it? I guess I feel like most of my life has been spent talking about where I'm going and very little of it has been spent actually GOING. I mean....I'd feel insulted or judged if one of my friends was overheard questioning whether I'd actually go through with this trip....and yet I know it's occurred and that I shouldn't feel insulted OR judged. Maybe that's just what I've presented and earned? I know that people that I love and respect have wondered if I'd go through with spending everything I've earned and been given on a whim...or seemingly a whim. Many likely don't know that I've wanted to do this since I was just a kid. I'm not sure if that helps or hurts my cause.....or if it matters at all. Hell.....now I'm not even sure why I'd bring this all up.
Either way....I'm going. I leave tomorrow and if I can find a way to come up with more money, then this trip will continue. I'm WELL below my budgeted amount for the full 3 months, but I simply couldn't let that keep me at home......or take that 3 week trip to the Grand Canyon instead! ....not that it's not great...it's just not the same since it would really leave me in my comfort zone. I'll soon be a stranger in a strange land looking for work, fun and time to myself.
grrrrr....maybe I'll just talk about the F*ck ups for a while to give some of you the giggles.
List of mistakes so far and the resulting advice:
-Don't ever leave on a LONG trip with a beard and without your shaving/dop kit....it gets annoying and stinky very quickly
-Don't ever leave on an international trip without your passport (don't ask) (thanks to Kenneth)
-Know how to change the oil on your bike BEFORE you leave town and all your tools (tougher than you'd imagine on a KTM while using a medical syringe as a funnel)
-Don't ignore a "Chuggin" drive chain when preparing your bike for a long 1850 mile ride
-If going to the trouble of bringing your favorite heavy SLR camera, then don't forget the battery charger and battery!
-USE LOC-TITE on every screw of a thumping single cylinder motorcycle.....stuff falls off!
-Don't buy gas in a NJ slum just across the river from Manhattan.....and don't pump it yourself....they get PISSED!
-If you bring a tube of bad ass gasket sealer in your tool kit...it WILL find something sharp to puncture it and make ALL of your bags smell like a chemical plant
-Don't listen to everyone's worries. They all love to talk about how weak the American dollar is and how screwed you are when you travel to Europe. FUN.
Ok....so maybe it's not that bad, but all those things sure seemed like a pain in the arse along the way.
...Tomorrow holds a lot for me I know. It's goodbye to my comfort zone and hello vagrancy. I don't even know where I'm sleeping tomorrow night. Prepared huh?
Regardless....tomorrow I leave and the trip officially begins. Wish me luck....I hope to update this SOON!
Thanks to everyone who cares enough to read!