Well I was going to say that the rocket has been wheeled out onto the launch pad and is ready for take off. Unfortunately the analogy doesn’t work for two reasons. Firstly, our departure will never be, in any way, similar to a rocket taking off and secondly, the launch has already happened.
Ever since we fixed a departure date and time I have been counting down in a NASA type fashion. Firstly in months, then weeks and finally days but I’m not doing it anymore. Yesterday was our final day in the house and we moved our belongings into storage and locked both house and the storage unit up for the last time. We have come to stay with our friends Shona and Les for three days and it feels very much as if our journey has begun. I always thought that nine o’clock on Saturday morning would be the moment that felt like the start but I was wrong. Now I realise that the time we spend with friends, family and as yet unknown other hosts is every bit a part of this adventure as the cycling is, so we don’t actually need to get on the bikes to feel like we are on our way.
So, the big question. How do I feel? That’s what I have been asked most over the last twenty four hours. Excited is the obvious emotion but I don’t think it is the most dominant. Not when I really stop and analyse how I am feeling. It’s a casserole of feelings melded into a general sense of liberation and relief. Freedom, anticipation, fear and excitement are all playing a part but so also is privilege. It’s a privilege to be able to make this life changing journey because not everybody gets the opportunity. To be able to give up our jobs and our homes and take six months to do something we have long dreamed of is a wonderful thing. I’m not just talking about financial freedom or the fact that we have an amazing network of family and friends that are enabling us to do this. Of course they are an essential ingredient and we very much appreciate their support but there is another vital ingredient in this mix. That ingredient is motivation.
People will tell you that they would love to just “take off” on an adventure of their own and then they will explain why they can’t. It usually involves money, jobs, lack of physical fitness and a host of other reasons that are very real to them. I understand that for some people it really is extremely difficult because of commitments to family but they are the exception rather than the rule. Most of these other objections can be overcome if the desire is strong enough. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, there is no law that says you can’t give up your job and you don’t have to be very fit to drive a car or a motorhome. I think the real reason that most people don’t cast off the bowlines, as Mark Twain put it, (allegedly) is simply because they just don’t want to. And that’s fine. That really is OK. That is why I feel lucky, because I really want to do it. We both do. That’s why it is actually going to happen. Is happening in fact. We’ve been told lots of times that we are brave to do this thing but I don’t see it like that at all. We are just fulfilling a long held dream because we want to. It really is that straight forward.
So if you want to know how I feel right now the answer is happy. Happy and content. Oh, OK then, and a little bit excited.