Monday, November 21, 2011

Pre-Departure Thoughts

"The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you never even thought to ask." - Yvon Chouinard in 180 South, one of my favorite documentaries.

It has begun and I still cannot believe it. Sitting on our first flight from SF to Miami with Anne taking a nap next to me, I realize this is the first moment of calm and relaxation I’ve had in weeks. I am starting to relax and see the first glimpses of excitement on the horizon.  During the last few weeks, the dominating state of mind was one filled with anxiety, sadness, worry – and not excitement. Everyone I’ve been talking to has annoyingly asked the same question over and over again: “Are you excited?” And my answer was always an evasive and polite “Yes.” Catching up with Anne just now on the plane, she confessed a similar experience, which made me feel more at ease with my bizarre state of mind. 

Taken over Lima right before landing. November 22, 2011.
You see, when you are rooted in a life somewhere, and you have bills to pay, a job and tons of ties to the many things that make your life what it is, putting that life on a shelf while preparing for a new nomad life takes a lot of research and planning. And for that to work out properly, you need your head on your shoulders. And for your head to be on your shoulders, you hardly have energy left for euphoria and excitement. But now that all the stressful planning is behind, let the excitement begin!

This plane is now taking me from my current established life to the new nomadic life.  On a symbolic level, I see this flight as the borderline or transporter between the two. It’s also the first moment of “nothing to do” – what a bliss and strange concept. I am looking forward to moments like this, of “nothing to do”, and the thrill of dedicating them to myself, to introspection, reading, writing, taking notes on the things I did, saw, smelled, tasted, loved, hated and adored during the day. I believe that introspection, time-to-self, time for reflection and meditation is what my old life lacked the most. I was too busy with my day-to-day responsibilities and too tired at night to do anything for myself, to nourish my soul spiritually. 

I am excited to not have a smart phone, to not obsessively check email and Facebook on it every 30 minutes, to not text like a maniac instead of talking on the phone or in real life, to not chat with people who live a few blocks away or in the same house. I am excited to leave technology behind, to not hear people talk about “checking in on Foursquare,” or about some new iPhone app. That may seem ironic coming from someone who has worked for a tech company until a few days ago, but yeah, I think we’re doing the tech thing way too much in San Francisco. We’re too connected, our lives are too much on display online, we’re too compelled to post updates about every single mundane detail. 

Posted from the Miami International airport at 12:54am local time.