Pre-Departure Ramblings

Trip Start Nov 30, 2004
Trip End May 30, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in the common hours. He will put some things behind, he will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him" Henry David Thoreau

Aside from immediately making me cool and pseudo-intellectual for quoting Thoreau, these sentences speak volumes to me. In my twenty four years occupying this corner of the universe, I have discovered that stagnation is the source of my discontent. My world is dynamic, my thoughts, my opinions, my interests, my passions, are all volatile parts of my personality that will lash out if they are cornered or oppressed. I have chosen to pursue, with great intensity, these evolving personality traits, and do my best to put them together with some vague semblance of continuity.

Why New Zealand? you may ask... Read about it..... seriously, take a couple of minutes, Google it, look at some pictures, and tell me you wouldn't want to see this amazing little chunk of Gondwanaland. My succinct answer to this question: It is a place I want to explore, a culture I want to observe, and an opportunity to sort out my thoughts. My not so succinct answer: There once lived a beautiful young Canadian girl with whom I planned to spend my life. She kept a text file on her computer called; "to do list... forever", and the diversity of these 82 intended accomplishments is one of the many reasons I loved her. In lieu of her death, I have decided make a list of my own, with my own variety of items, from the nearly impossible, to the laughably easy. During this trip, I plan to scratch several items off my list, and one off hers.

A week before departure, and I feel ready to go. My pack has been streamlined to maximum minimalistic standards, and I seem to have all my loose ends tied up, with my finances in order as well. I think that my preparedness is a combination of a deep nagging desire to get away from this area for years, and my lack of a job for the last three weeks. While I am not particularly looking forward to the 18 hours of air travel I am about to endure, I am anxiously awaiting those first hazy jet-lagged days. This is the time when it becomes real, and as the fog of trans-hemispherical travel begins to lift, I will become fully aware of my decision.

THe only thing I will miss about this disgusting place I grew up, are the people in my life. I want my family to understand this; You all mean the world to me, and I have, and will, always appreciate your love more than you will ever know. I want my friends to know that they have shaped me, and helped me become the man I am today. I want my adopted family to realize that out of the ashes of our tragedy rose a beautiful relationship, and I am eternally grateful for your generosity and understanding. I want all of you to know that even though I will be far away, you are all with me.

Now Go! And never darken my towels again! -Groucho Marx
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