Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Greenwich Time Line has nothing on me

After a final trip to Mountain Equipment Co-op to pick up some last minute items (a sleep sheet, because I ran out of time to sew a sheet together before I left Toronto, and a compressible travel pillow) my bags are packed and I'm ready to go.

I find it both terrifying and powerful that my entire life for the next three months (or, if you want to get exact like my mom insists, the next 2 months and 3 weeks) can fit into a bag that is smaller than Courtney's biggest purse.

Whenever I leave for some place, I feel like it should be some sort of monumental event. Like, I feel like I should be mentally preparing myself and thinking horribly cliched thoughts like, "This is the first day of the rest of my life," and scribbling them furiously into my journal.

Luckily for you all, I'm not a fan of cliches.

In fact, it seems like such a mundane event to me. I wish I could re-capture the excitement that overtook me the first time I pulled away from home in a U-Haul, or the time Andrew drove me to the airport to catch the plane to Berlin 3 years ago.

But instead, I'm breaking down the sequence of events chronologically in my head. Simple, factual, logical. In 10 minutes, I should call a cab. I've got my airplane survival bag packed* and in 3 hours, I'll be boarding the plane. And in 26 hours, I'll be groggily stepping off the plane in Sydney after losing a day to the international date line, hailing a cab, and collapsing at Chloe's house in a jet-lagged heap, before I pull myself together, and wander the city alone searching for Alice's favourite cafe, Badde Manors.

Because when you have no sense of direction or time, and the logical, systemic approach to events and place no longer applies, that's when the excitement sets in.
* A note to all those travelling abroad soon: be sure to carry on the plane easily accessible hand lotion, eye drops, snacks, something to read and a huge water bottle. If you have room, your own pillow or blanket makes the trip a lot more comfortable as well. Don't dress up for the flight, today I'm wearing my sweatpants and a hoodie. It's comfort all the way.


  1. just remember when in sydney to walk on the opposite side of the sidewalk. yes, indeed that would be the left side. you wouldn't believe how many dirty looks you will get if you don't. oh and look right not left before crossing. cuz unlike in canada cars don't stop for you!

    good luck!

  2. ps. try the diagonal crossing its insane!

  3. oh one last thing, if you get lost and hungry. look for woolworth's or woolies as the locals call it. head downstairs to the deli, and ask for chicken chippies. and lots of seasoning. possibly the best snack ever.

    ok thats all the advice im giving you!

  4. i kind of miss that excitement, i guess it flies out the window with the novelty of backpacking. and it's when you realize it's not cool and intrepid, it's just disgusting and horribly overdone by every student the world over.

    safe travels.


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