The dusk of a new day

Trip Start Dec 09, 2006
Trip End Apr 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, December 8, 2006

I look at my cell phone and the time reads 5:55 pm.  Make a wish. 

Sun has set on another work week here in Austin, Texas, and for me the dusk brings more than a much anticipated weekend.  Tomorrow is day one of the rest of my life, a new life, one without another work day in the foreseeable future.

Time flew.  The past few weeks have been the whirlwind.  Leaving a job isn't as simple as it used to be.  Leaving friends is even harder.  I am truly blessed here in Austin, and I recommend anyone who is hungry to take a trip around the world.  I haven't paid for a meal all week.  My friends are great.

I packed my bags last night pre-flight.  It's full of toys and survival gear mostly given or suggested by my friends.  Toilet paper, anti-diarrhea meds, hand sanitizer, a compass with whistle, international power converter and adapters, a ton of batteries, two-way walkie talkie, and of course a portable stereo (I hear it turns any thatch hut into an instant beach party).  Oddly enough, there's still room to cram some souvenirs into the bag if need be.

I haven't really had a chance to slow down and let the whole moment sink in.  My head has been spinning trying to get things all squared away and simultaneously get in touch with friends.  I coughed up a little blood the other day, probably bronchitis, but I haven't even felt sick yet.  I imagine my body will catch up to me as soon as I sit in my coach seat to Hong Kong.

11:15 am tomorrow is our scheduled departure from Austin.  We'll have a short layover in Los Angeles where friends and family plan on getting us bombed on sake before boarding our international flight that night at 10:20 pm.  Wicked smart idea.

Anyway ... I'll have about 20 hours to let my emotions and body catch
up with my brain.  My next entry will be from a cafe in Saigon.  Perhaps by then, I'll be able to put into words my gratitude and bittersweet excitement that leaves with me on this trip.

I want to thank all my friends who have made my experience at Texas a wonderful one, especially the last few weeks.  And to my friends who have checked in from all over the globe, I look forward to writing you a postcard soon.  You are all on this trip with me.
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