It’s hard to believe what is happening .. with our neighbors in the U.S. and around the world. The news these days is unreal .. or is it ? Is it just that I am following it more or are things really getting crazy ? In the midst of all of this, I am planning something .. more than planning, I am making it happen.
My partner and I have put in our resignations and plan to be free from life as we know it, by August 19th, 2016. We started planning last year after returning from Indonesia .. we started planning our “gap year”, or as I like to call it, my mid life crisis. We live in a very isolated area of Canada .. and I mean VERY isolated. You can think of Toronto as being in the “North” of North America and you would be correct. You could then hop in a car and drive North watching the buildings slowly disappear and the trees becoming denser. After about 4 hours of driving, you could conclude that you have driven to the outer limits of the habitable zones of Canada .. that there is no need to continue further.. isolation within the confines of pristine nature .. Planet Earth’s last stance .. A place where the mosquitoes rule by summer, and snow reigns during the winter. You could think you have done it .. you have made it.. but you’d be wrong. The isolation you feel 4 hours North of Toronto, is merely a teaser into the great wild (empty) North of Canada. My partner and I live an additional 4 hours up the road .. actually, where the road ends and only trains or planes can take you further. We are truly isolated … and it has taken it’s toll.
Throughout the year, we have been selling everything we own .. well, everything meaningless that we own. Furniture for example. Our bedroom has but a bed and a television now .. our clothes room, has nothing but clothes. Our living room is down to a couch with a TV. Our storage room has an old air conditioning unit my father bought me 10 years ago .. something I will have trouble parting with .. a few cleaning supplies and a couple Roots camping chairs. Our kitchen is the only room that is fully intact… the last room to be packed in a month’s time. We need to eat 😀 The money we have made from selling our meaningless belongings has gone into a box for safe keeping.. we will use this money to start again when we return to the grind. We sold our Honda 4 months ago .. and I am currently waiting for a phone call from someone interested in our second vehicle .. he better not stand me up.. plenty of tire kickers around here.
This has been a year of extreme nothingness .. we haven’t eaten out at a restaurant, gone out to a concert or a show ( there aren’t any around here anyways ) or spent any money on anything that isn’t necessary to survival or our upcoming adventure. We have saved enough to buy a small house outright .. and we watch as our friends and peers struggle with appearances, toys and debt. The money is ready.
We’ve upgraded a few things for the adventure .. a new camera .. some good footwear .. some thin clothing that folds into nothing .. micro fiber towels .. a new small laptop and a small tablet for entertainment, writing, posting and research. Other than that, every cent we have earned, is sitting in the bank.
It’s been quite the year … a year of planning and waiting. Countless nights with a glass of wine, a lonely planet guide and YouTube researching all the cool things we can see and do. And then every few weeks or so, some awful news of terrorist activities in places we wanted to visit. I used to be pretty empathetic to the oppressed in the Middle East, but nowadays, it’s getting out of hand. This concept of “if you are not with us, then you are against us” is too much for me justify or defend. I’m sorry you have been wronged by major powers in the world, but killing innocent people is not a way to gain support.
As it stands, we plan to begin our journey in Europe .. these days our trip begins in Spain, then a dip into Morocco, then back up to France and Italy. Of course, this may change .. We had planned to visit Israel and Jordan, but have since canceled those ideas in light of ISIS and it’s activities. A major highlight of our trip will be Nepal in October, where we plan to attempt the Annapurna Circuit without guides or porters .. the tea house trek that climaxes at the Thorung La high pass at 5,500 meters in elevation. By December, we plan to be in Thailand again to celebrate the holidays and then plan to revisit Cambodia. Depending on the terrorist climate, we would like to visit Malaysia but this may be put to the wayside. India is next on the agenda, followed by a possible visit to Kenya and Tanzania. Then, back across the Atlantic to South America to finish up our money. All of this is up in the air .. we all know how plans change.
What is to come ? The single most challenging endeavor of my life .. leaving the area where I was born .. leaving a career job for a year or more .. leaving my only friends and family .. and doing this in the midst of global chaos and the specter of a potential Donald Trump U.S. leadership… may the gods save us. Stay tuned 🙂