Tomorrow the trip will be here at last. I will shed what is left of my routine life and embark on an unpredictable adventure. The career, the home of my own, my regular social life, the day to day errands of life, my various responsibilities, those have been shed. Now I will shed my family, my pets, the familiar... my phone, my computer (I'll be updating this in cafes), all possessions that do not fit in my backpack. Three months to try to live differently, bond with new, interesting people, live on a strict budget, have no home. I will be exposed to new cultures, meet other travelers on quests of their own, see historic places I've only heard about, and of course, have a damn good time. The excitement is rising within me and it's hard to imagine what to expect. When I return, I will no doubt be excited to see the American flag waving and pull up to the drive way of my parents house in cozy Raleigh, NC. One of many reasons to do a trip like this is to gain a new appreciation for what we have here in the states. Western Europe is surely not far removed from the way we do things here, but even the subtle differences will be fascinating.
So here I go, time to take this mysterious tour of Europe. People have encouraged and reassured me plenty, but I still naturally feel the discomfort of what I am about to do. Is this the right way to figure out what's out there, to soul search, to explore? Well, hopefully it is, because in 24 hours I will be kissing my parents goodbye and walking through the the concourse to my terminal. Here I go! The adventure begins at last.