May 2nd 2012, that’s the date I left San Francisco, after almost a decade of calling it home, for a trip to who knows where and for how long. I’d been planning to leave on this trip for the past year (and by planning I mean saving money, downsizing my possessions and telling enough of my friends about it that I couldn’t back out when push came to shove), but you never know what it’s going to feel like when you actually pack up all of your things and go. The funny thing is that nothing really felt all that different or strange. For those of you that know me, I think you’d be hard pressed to describe me as overly emotional, or driven by feelings. So when one has these moments (like leaving your home of the past decade) that should somehow be full of emotion, or at least thoughtful introspection, I look inward and find… well… nothing. At least nothing different from how I normally feel on a regular basis. I mention this because more than several people have asked me the question “So how do you feel?” And I honestly struggle to come up with any answer to satisfy their curiosity because nothing actually feels different. I think it’s primarily because I made the decision to do this last year, so up until now, I’ve just been acting like this trip was a foregone conclusion. And now that I’m leaving, nothing is different simply because this is what I knew was going to happen anyhow. Also, the last month I spent in San Francisco was pretty hectic with finishing up at work, saying goodbye to my friends, trip preparation, selling stuff off and packing up the rest. I just kept my head down and plowed through getting as much done as possible, which left very little time for thinking about anything for any extended period of time.
The other question I have also gotten a lot is “why?” To which my only reasonable response is “why not?”. I’ve been in the same place for nearly a decade, and I have/had a very good life (great friends, interesting hobbies, good job, etc.), but I did feet a bit stagnant (most likely because everything was so comfortable). I’ve always enjoyed travel, but I’ve never had, or taken, the opportunity to do it for more than a couple of weeks at a time. The thought of doing something drastic to break out of my comfort zone and push myself in way I had never done so before appealed to me, and a bit of longer-term travel offered to be the solution. I laid out a plan that I was comfortable implementing (or the general outline of a plan as I’m not the most detail-oriented person) and that would keep me on track to leave. Also, the timing couldn’t really be any more opportune from a lifestyle point of view… I’m single, with no debt and no other responsibilities… all of which are things that may never happen again (at least all simultaneously). In short, the opportunity presented itself, and I decided to take it.
Despite the fact that I was driving, I had a certain Peter, Paul and Mary song running through my head as I left for my first destination, which was my parent’s house in San Diego (not a very bad place for a first stop right?). The planned itinerary being San Diego for an extended weekend, New York for 10 days, London for an extended weekend, on to Ibiza (Spain) and then Andalusia (Spain) for the month of June. And after that…? Your guess is as good as mine.