Pre-Departure

February 17, 2009 - Seoul, South Korea

 Now that I am reflecting on the flavor and purpose of the last week and a half of travel, I realize that I never took the time-for myself-to journal about what the experience was like leading up to the trip.  It says alot about the start of the trip...I night find anyways.

timeline:

6 months out- plans of taking "a trip" begin to form

4 months out- preparations for "a trip" to nepal begin to organize

2 months out- timeline for "this trip" becomes more immediate, serious preparing commences

1 month out- trip is booked, I am full time preparing

It's those last two months that really shook my roots.  The best way I can describe is two experiences: first with a girl who only met me once; secondly with my mom, who knows me better than anyone.

Angela sends me an email asking me if I was ok, or needed to talk to anybody...I didn't seem to be my normal self.  Quite perceptive, actually, especially since she only met me once.

I thank her graciously for her sweet offer to be a "listener" and explain that I am in the midst of planning a trip to Nepal for about a year or so, kinda open-ended, and that the diligence required has left me incredibly scattered, distracted and uncentered.

I find myself always in thought, always planning, always checking my figurative list.  Planning, judging, stressing.  Thinking, not being, thinking!

My mom says to me one morning: "now you're getting a taste of what the rest of us go through ALL of the time."

Now, I do not know if that's true, but It did bring me to awareness of how far away I was from WHERE I usually tend to "HANG OUT"Relative to how I am used to experiencing a day, a yoga class- for example- I spent the last month or two lost in a world of distracting thought.  I'm certainly not under the impression that I've mastered being in the present moment.  I'm no perfected yogi, no Zen being...however, there is a relative place that I do live in, relative, at least to where I've been for over 2 months now.  And it has given me a much greater appreciation for the stillness and the presence of that place.  The beauty of being with myself, in the moment.

The best way I can describe it is that it all feels so much: clearer, real, calm, peaceful, connected.

Now, I appreciate that it is much easier to attain that when your schedule demands about 20 hours of teaching yoga...where the only requirement, that I practice anyway, is to be present.  To ALLOW.

Suddenly, I've got some serious stuff to do.  I'm outta here for a year man.  You think you get to just casually GLIDE through that.

Because on top of being a yogi, I'm also an analyst.  An investment banker, a lawyer.  I never got rid of those characteristics, in fact, they are quite useful.  I left the country with no business unfinished.  Bills were paid, insurances were up to date, medical exams were completed, taxes were finished, budgets were calculated, yoga classes were covered. 

And that's just the "stay at home" stuff.

In addition to cleaning up my life at home for a year of self-sustainability so that I could essentially turn my back on it.  I also had to prepare for a year of unknowns.  My trip, as best as I could predict, would bring me half way across the world, from the height of the Himalaya to the tropics of Sri Lankan surf.  How you gonna prepare for that, especially since I limited myself to a SMALL pack weighing no more than 20 pounds.  That's ALOT of diligence.  In case you're interested, my pack list is below.  Here's me and my bag:

Morning of departure

Not much.  At least I don't think so.

So planning to close accounts on my home life, preparing to live a nomadic life and still attempting to live my present life: teaching, socializing, spending time with my family, etc.

It was exhausting.  I was fatigued.

Two weeks before departure, my family and I took a weekend trip to Hilton Head.  I crashed!  The whole ride down, the whole time there.  Not the funnest guy to be around for my family, who were also preparing, emotionally at least, for my year long journey.

I was drained.  Consequently, being depleted, I ALSO got sick, came down with the flu, then made a trip to NY and partied for four days straight (I had no REAL energy, so I survived a farewell visit to my friends on ARTIFICIAL energy: coffee before noon, rum after).  The morning my dad dropped me at the airport in Charlotte, I was a physical ghost.  I was dragging myself through the ordeal.  24 hours of flight travel, a 10 hour (or 14 hour, depending on the direction) time difference and over 2 months of little to no yoga (or any physical activity for that matter)- those were the conditions on which I began my trip...no vacation.  I feel like I am just catching up.

Unfortunately: I've got another jet-lag ahead when I leave for Nepal tomorrow.

FORTUNATELY: once I get there, I've got no-THING that NEED be done.

Back to me, back to yoga.

 

My LIST:

CLOTHING
Shoes
---salamon trail runners
---chakos flip flops
Socks:
---4 pair hiking, 2 light weight (all smartwool)
Pants:
---3 yoga
---2 hike
---1 long underwear (Smartwool)
Shorts:
---2 yoga/athletic/surfing
Tops:
Tees
---4 tees & 1 LS tee (all synthetic)
---1 sleeveless
---1 long underwear (Smartwool)
Fleece
---Patagonia Windstopper Zip-Up
Top Layer
---REI Convertible Jacket (synthetic down)
Shell
---EMS waterproof
Accessories:
---Buff (for neck)
---Gloves
---2 pair polarized sunglasses
---Smartwool hat
---visor
--- Cap
---2 headbands
GEAR
Pack (Osprey Talon 33L)
Sleeping Bag (TNF Blue Kazoo-down with weather resistant finish)
Water Bladder
Small Day Pack
Man Bag (my purse)
duct tape (rolled on piece of pencil)
latex clothesline
Sigg water bottle
Headlamp (petzl zipka)
pack towel x 2
carabiners (to attach things to bag)
straps (for extra attachments)
stuff sacks (for stuff)
aloksak drybags (for documents)
PERSONAL
Lonely Planets (Nepal, Trek Himalaya & pieces of India)
Journal
Pens
Ipod & case/charger/headphones/USB
Portable Speakers + cords
Camera (charger/cord/cards/extra battery)
 BATH
Bag
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Dr. Brommers peppermint oil soap * 3 x 3 oz
Face cream
Salt Crystal Deodorant
Lavender Oil
Conditioner
Shave Cream
MEDICAL
10 day Cipro
Script for Malaria Prevention


1 Comment

tachi:
March 13, 2009
Hello Billy! I leave tomorrow morning for a mission trip to Costa Rica. We will be building a parsonage for a church. We will have one day we go to the rainforest on horseback and swim under a waterfall. I return next Saturday. I hope you are doing well and that every day is adventure and memory maker. We miss you. I send good thoughts your way. Love ya,
Tachi
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