It’s 9:36, Tuesday morning. Johnny Cash is enlivening my ears with his trademark chugga-chugga tempo and bone-rumbling bass. I dig the classics as much as the next person, but in my personal opinion, his later recordings in life were among the best; the most heart pounding, open wound, real moments — most of them re-imaginations of already earth-moving songs — ever put to melody. American Recordings (1994) was his 81st album. What words are there to convey the majesty of that?
Hi. How are you? Remember me? Probably not; I’m not entirely convinced anyone will read this, but that’s alright. As I’ve said before, this is more a tool for myself. A release, a thought-organizer, a way to feel like I’m committing. Remember (why am I still asking you to remember?) when I said that I was going to commit to an extended working-holiday in a land down under? I was a little uncertain, unsure whether I had it in me to take a chance, make a mistake, and get messy. I may have lost sight of my blogging, but my travel dream has only been intensified over the past couple of months. Oh, the places we go. I started collecting those credit bonus points I was talking about, I booked a plane ticket, I bought a backpack. This is real, this is crazy. It’s 11:27 at the top of Tuesday morning and I’m sitting in my cubicle with a cheeky grin because, though I’m as yet unsure about what my purpose really is, I’m on the path toward figuring it all out.
I feel silly sometimes when I try to put words to all of this and it comes out grandiose and airy because I really haven’t done anything. I still haven’t been anywhere, and it all still seems an awful lot like big words and dreamy fluff. It’s funny though, how different I feel. When I think about travel now, it’s under the rays of knowing that this is something I am actually going to do. All those doubts about myself, my capabilities, travel itself… well, they’re still in there somewhere. But the other day as I sat on my balcony overlooking the balconies of all the other apartment buildings in my neighborhood, with the setting sun in my eyes, I thought about my future. Where I’ll be and, more significantly, who I’ll be. It filled me with a buzz that I can’t really explain but I hope you’ve felt before. It was filling, consuming, and exhilarating. I felt swollen with it and in that moment I knew that everything I was thinking and feeling was right. The cheesiness of it is almost nauseating, but I’ve been waiting for this feeling my entire life.
The other day in the lunchroom at work, someone asked me if I was really going to take off to Australia. I don’t recall ever mentioning this dream of mine to her, but I guess when something is all you ever think about, it’s bound to come out in conversation now and again. “Are you really going to go?” I didn’t need the beat that it took to answer, surprising even myself in my assuredness: “Yes, I am.” I guess all that’s left now is to go. Is it too early to start a countdown to August 2015?
In recent weeks I’ve explored MEC, Canada’s premier outdoor recreation store, for the first time and bought the backpack that will accompany me around the world. I booked a flight to Costa Rica, along with a free-wheeling sort of tour to a select few destinations across eight days. I started really trying to connect with and learn from other travelers and tentatively telling people in my life about my plans. Dipping a toe and it feels good. I know I waved away “dipping toes” in favor of diving right in, but that springboard hasn’t quite materialized yet. I see it, and I’ve got my sights set on it, and we’ll get there.
More about all of these developments to come. It’s 12:30 on a Tuesday. These are the thoughts I have while attempting to focus on the daily grind and paperwork on my desk. Thankfully it’s lunchtime. Ready, team: break.