So I made it. Sort of. In a peculiar way.
Here I am in Vancouver Airport, post-launch, drinking a mocha, watching an enormous fish tank next to a large fake pond that Canadians seem to be so fond of.
I am definitely feeling weird. The past 24 hours did not go to plan, and the future is, putting it mildly, murky. I am in limbo both metaphorically and physically. A long layover forces you to stop running for a minute and gives one a chance to reflect.
Most people about to go away on a vacation know that feeling of panic the day before your flight leaves. A hundred things must be done and the clock is ticking. Not until the plane lifts off do you finally think "Thank God! I made it." Usually followed quickly by, "Oh crap. I forgot my [insert expletive] [insert random travel item]."
Well, when one travels for an entire year, that list of a hundred things becomes a thousand. And the margin for error is slim to none. If you don't care of something before you leave, you are toast. That reminder letter to please pay your doctor co-pay? 6 months later it becomes a collection letter, followed shortly by a hand grenade blasting your credit rating to dust for 7 years. (Yes I speak from experience on that one.)
So to say I've been in a state of sheer panic for the last 72 hours would not be much of an understatement. I counted 6 hours of sleep in the last 2.5 days. Last night, the clock won. I was trying to cart a few last boxes into storage at 11pm. Unbeknownst to me, the storage place "after-hours" aren't very much "after" the regular hours. My access codes didn't work, and I had to be at the airport at 4am. As the realization hit that I had no hope of storing my valuables hit me (among the boxes was my PC with all my photos, music, etc.), I just started laughing. I had to admit defeat. I would sort it out somehow.
And today, here I stand, about to embark into the heart of darkness, blackouts, food shortages, and, oh yeah, nuclear fallout.
I should be euphoric that I am about to launch into the greatest adventure of my life. As fate would have it, I take a nasty packing hangover into the Apocalypse.