Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
Trip End Aug 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In exactly a month, I officially start my trip around the world!!!!  Lately, I've been poring over my travel guides, researching my itinerary, and reading amazing books written by people who've travelled to the places I plan on visiting.  Recent books on my bedside table have been "Red China Blues" by Jan Wong, "Mr. China" by Tim Clissold (thanks Kat & PY!  Great reads!).  China seems to be on my mind lately and movies that also gave me a brief taste of this vast country and its diverse culture were "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" and "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress", which I also strongly recommend!    

But at a certain point, I need to put these books and movies aside and create my own experiences...  I don't remember when I first came across this poem, but it caught me back then when I read it and it has so much bearing now, at the starting point of my trip.

"You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books;
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me:  
You shall listen to all sides, and filter them from yourself."
end of 2nd stanza
Walt Whitman (1819-1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900

At this point, I've finally received my 48-page passport and have taken a Rape Prevention Seminar at a martial arts school here in Montreal called Senshido -  I've scheduled visits to the health clinic to get my final vaccinations and shots.  And my itinerary is pretty much set.  All I have left to do is say goodbye to my family and friends and board the plane...
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