Well, today is the day.
First, I must apologize for my extreme tardiness in updating the site. I did manage to get much (but not all) of my New Orleans experience up online, but I still have a long, long way to go. You might think that traveling around the US is all fun and games. Well, generally it is. But that takes up more time than you might think, with precious little left over.
Furthermore, it's going to get worse before it gets better. In a couple hours I jump on a bus that will drive for a long, long time before I get off and get onto another bus that will drive even longer. At the end of all that, who knows how many days from now, I hope to find some place to sit down and update for real. But until then, well, it's not looking good. So, though the fact that you're receiving this negates your need to hear it, anyone not subscribed to the mailing list should do so now in order to learn when I manage to get updates out in the future.
So, with that out of the way, today is the day. The day I start the trip for real. The trip around the US has been wonderful, and I've managed to see a whole bunch of people that I haven't seen in a long time (though had to miss others that I haven't seen for even longer times). But driving around the US and staying with old friends is not the same as heading out of the country, in which the language spoken is not your own, in which you have only the most cursory knowledge of local geography and customs, and in which you have absolutely no idea where you'll lay your head at night.
Needless to say, I'm getting a bit spooked.
Until this point, my strategy was just to not think about the future. That actually works surprisingly well. However, when the future you're trying to avoid thinking about is only three hours away... Let's just say it's hard to not think about it any more.
I'm not entirely sure from where the spookiness comes. The 40-hour bus ride sounds more painful than spooky. (Mental note, grab some food and water before getting on the bus.) I'm reasonably confident that I'll be able to make my way using Spanish (not without some work, mind you). I'm even pretty sure that I'll find cheap motels aplenty (though I cringe to think with how many millions of mites I'll share my quarters).
Perhaps what wigs me out the most is just the idea of going. See, I really like sitting in a coffeshop and reading or writing or doing whatever. It doesn't take a whole lot for me to have a great time: a comfortable chair and cup of hot tea satisfies a large fraction of my needs. But, alas, it does not satisfy all my needs. And one of those unmet needs is to go. Thus, I go.