The Countdown Begins

You know that point where “The departure date for this trip will never arrives” meets “Oh my god, I can’t believe how soon we leave.” Yeah. I’m there.

Think State Farm can help?

No? Me neither. But at this point, I’m certainly feeling like I could stand for someone to jump in and lend a hand (or twelve).

I can’t even count how many days, months, and years this trip has been brewing, so to think that it’s right on the horizon now is both exciting and overwhelming. It’s also a bit unreal. When you dream of something for so long, it can seem as if it will never actually happen. But it is happening. Soon.

For us, the problem of realizing that the dream is about to become reality is the facts of our situation. In our minds—and on paper—we don’t leave for almost three more months. That’s still forever, right? Well, yes. Unless, of course, you’re actually moving out of the country a good six weeks before what you consider to be the start date of your trip.

Jeff leaves for Sweden in three weeks. (Count them–one, two, three. Not many weeks at all.) I then follow two weeks afterwards. We’ll be there for one month. We’ll then be back here for about 2 weeks before departing for Nicaragua, the first stop on the world tour. Perhaps we should have been thinking of the Sweden adventure as part of the trip, but we didn’t. For Jeff, trips to Sweden are a regular occurrence, and for me, well I just haven’t thought about it at all.

So now, I feel like we’re a bit under the gun. Though some things can be done from Sweden, a lot needs to be done before we go (or will at least be much easier to handle while we’re in the U.S.) The biggest job of all, and one we cannot put off, is the packing and moving of our entire apartment. I’ve tried to avoid thinking of this, but I’m not sure I can much longer. While I’m good at packing for trips, and I’m excellent at throwing things away, I’m always completely overwhelmed by large-scale moving endeavors. I still remember trying to pack for college, sitting in the middle of my bedroom surrounded by eighteen years worth of stuff and being practically paralyzed. I had a list. I had boxes and suitcases. Yet still I called my mom at work near tears because I couldn’t figure out where to start. Hopefully I’ve improved in the past decade, but I’m not looking forward to finding out.

And then it’s make sure our finances are in order. Figure out that route and get some airline tickets. Purchase the last remaining supplies. Make a final decision on insurance. Say goodbye to all our DC friends…

Plus there’s that very simple matter of me finishing my book (only two more hikes to go plus a little writing and a lot of editing!) and Jeff finishing his dissertation (experimentation phase now complete!). No big deal, right? Good, I’m glad we agree. Deep breaths all around.

10 Replies to “The Countdown Begins”

  1. Guys, as someone who has just made the leap, I can tell you this: No matter how much planning, packing, etc, you think you’ve done, it still comes down to the last minute. I was stuffing bags with gear at midnight before we left… and am now planning to ship half of it back!

    Best of luck with your final countdown.


  2. I’m stressed just reading this, Theresa! Good luck with everything! I can’t believe the trip that you’ve been talking about for years is finally about to begin. I am so excited for you!

  3. Theresa, Craig has great advice…there is always something happening last minute. As for packing, pack everything then get rid of half…you never use all you take…

    we’ll miss each other in stockholm but i’ll see you next year in Asia!

  4. Wow, you’re almost there. My last few weeks were mostly waiting… I had empty out my apartment the month before, and seemingly gotten everything done. It wasn’t until the last 2 days that all those tiny little things I needed to do (make copies of our passports, print out our itinerary, notify the bank of our travels etc) that had me running around.

    I’m so excited for you guys!

  5. Great blog Theresa! Even though I’m still a few months out from the beginning of my journey, I’m already panicking. So I can just imagine what it must be like. I’m adding this blog to my blog roll so I can keep checking in on your story!

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