Several weeks of crazy

I have been planning my adventure for some time now, but I had completely underestimated the chaos and madness that is my life at the moment.

No matter how far ahead I that date was circled in my calendar, there are many things that could not be done until now.  Yes, OK – I could have booked in for my travel jabs a few weeks ago which would have eased some of the panic as I almost didn’t have time to get in the full quota of inoculations.

And yes, I agree, I could have started to sort out the mountain of paperwork in my flat which was generated by my divorce before now, but to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t face that before now and I am still procrastinating.

Blind panic is mixed with a blast of excitement when I look at the blanket of   ”To Do’ lists which are draped over my table and I am doing my best to ignore my rising stress levels as confirmation of another leg of my journey pings into my inbox.

But no matter – I know that everything that needs to be done will be done and anything that I fail to get around to can simply be parked up a loft somewhere.  At least I will have projects to keep me occupied when I finally return home after my wanderings.

I have to go off-piste with my rabies jabs as there is a shortage here in England but I have sourced an unlicensed (in the UK) French vaccine.  The worldwide shortage of the typhoid jab is a little more worrying what with my propensity to vomit, but I am confident that my GP will obtain one for me in the next 6 months.  Because although I won’t require protection from rabies or typhoid before November my departure date has suddenly snuck up on me and one of the things which my final flurry of preparation has highlighted is the dreadful bureaucracy that dictates life here in the UK.

The citizens of the UK are not trusted enough to self declare that they are TV-less.  You need proof.  Need to change addresses for bank statements, insurance policies and subscriptions?  Easier; just a very slow process.  Sell or store my motor bike and car?  Toss a coin.  Cancelling my broadband?  Useless! The company have sent me a letter to leave for the new occupants of the flat inviting them to sign up, but several phone calls have failed to produce the pre-addressed delivery bag in which I have been promised I can post my modem back to them, and as for sorting out my final bill; the logic of their fiance department is scary.

I have just one week to go before I leave work and a further two before I leave my home.  I will be ready.  I will be ready.  It’s too late…I HAVE to be ready.

A Line in the Sand

If you care about something you have to protect it.  If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it – A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

In my last post I explained how I was at a crossroads but added that I had come to a decision and I announced that I WILL be choosing the other path.  Like any journey there has to be time spent planning before you can set out, but it is too easy to get bogged down in the research and prolong the start date.  I am very aware of my own voice of reason which threatens to paralyse me: and if I am not careful another six or even sixteen months will have passed me by.

Recent events threatened to waylay my plans so I decided to simplify things and write a list.  Now, whilst I am one of the best at procrastination I am also the master of list-making.  This list however, was small.  I sat down and under the heading ‘What is Important’ I wrote down just  four things. There are some things which are out of my control, so ignoring the obvious I wrote down the four things which I believed represented my dreams.   I believed that if I could get these four things in the correct order everything would fall into place and I would  know when I would be ready to stop the planning and step out over the line.  With the help of a friend, I assessed the list in reverse order.

  • Travel writing is a notoriously hard market to break into.  The top travel magazines receive more than 3oo pitches a week!  Whilst establishing a reputation and a career many writers contribute articles to online forums for free and the majority of writers are unable to make a living from their writing alone
  • Setting up a business that can sustain me from anywhere in the world will take time, however I do have ideas. Those ideas were jotted down in the best entrepreneurial style on a napkin over breakfast in a cafe in Brighton
  • The experiences will happen.  How I interpret them and incorporate them into my way of life is up to me
  • The travel.  I already have the itch, I just need to scratch it and book that first one-way flight

The arguments for each became shorter as I worked backwards up the list, so, (deep breath)….. I should acknowledge that I had instinctively put the list in the correct order to begin with and I should flip the list back to its original state

  1. Travel
  2. The experiences and the way of life that I crave
  3. The  ability to support myself whilst roaming with a backpack and a smile
  4. I must write

The line is drawn in the sand.  I just need to step over it.

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