Preparing for a trip like the one Shawn and I are taking is a strange thing. At first it’s just an idea. Then we started preparing in little ways. And now, with just a little over a month until we plan to leave, it feels like we have to start doing everything at once and, oh lord, the stress. It’s hard not to feel like Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. I have to keep reminding myself that everything will be fine once we get on the road and that things will work out one way or another.
I think part of me still can’t believe I’m going to do this. I’ve done other big, life-changing things, and every time I do, it doesn’t seem real until I’m actually doing it. And then, it always feels like it was almost inevitable that I was going to do this, and why was I so worried?
I find myself dealing with the worry in odd (and usually not useful) ways. Like, obsessing about my clothes. I tend to be, um, a tad obsessed with clothes anyway. But I’m used to having this rather large wardrobe of clothing to choose from, and having to narrow it down to a pannier or so of stuff for the next five or so months is hard. If we were just going to be touring the whole time, I could grab clothes that were just practical and comfortable for long days in the saddle. But we’re spending time visiting a number of cities, too; and trying to meet and talk to all kinds of people about bike culture. And goddamit, I want to look cute when I’m out and about. Oh, and did I mention that the weather will vary hugely over parts of the trip? I’m sure we’ll hit a few 100F days in July or August, and then the end of the trip is planned for Halifax in late October/early November.
So: all my clothes have to be 1. practical 2. comfortable 3. cute, according to my oddball tastes 4. easy to layer for any weather. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, the bike I’m supposedly riding on this trip still has no derailers. Or racks. And I still don’t have front panniers. Or a sleeping bag–Shawn got a new-to-him bag that zips on the opposite side as his old one, so now I have to get a new bag too!
I remain confident that everything will come together. Somehow.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where we’re going, here’s Shawn’s description of the route. I’ve seriously considered printing it out and photocopying it, because when people inevitably ask, “Where are you two going?” I end up having to ask, “How much time do you have?”