The Stress of Setting Out

The stress of setting out on any big adventure can be daunting but, if past experience has taught me anything, it’s the fact that time underway is your friend. The best medicine for vanquishing any lingering seeds of doubt and, better still, allowing you to incrementally drop your guard to the point where your breathing and pulse return to normal.

When new places, routines, cultural quirks and language idiosyncrasies all become second nature. It’s when the real fun begins.

That said, I’m fairly certain, in time, the Bua family of three will reap plenty of  pleasant travel stories concerning this South American odyssey we finally set out for on March 11th. The question, though, is in how much time?

Because, if the final two days leading up to our first plane out of the Gold Coast is anything to go on, the stress of setting out may have left indelible mental scarring.  Three days in and normality still seems a distant pipe dream.

Note to self: If you really want normality, don’t leave home!

It started out well as, for 99% of the five months leading to our departure date, it seemed things were under control. Boxes had been packed, rooms cleaned out, a general battle plan put in place as to exactly where and how things would be stored and travel gear sequestered and set aside.

Sometimes, though, it’s that last 1% that damn near kills you.

All we’d needed to do, you see, was pack our bags. That’s always been the easy part. This time, however, was different. This time, what we weren’t taking wasn’t going to be staying put and left where it was carefully folded and/or hung up. This time things needed to find a new home.

And it was this time, we realized we had a not so little problem. Close to seven years of sedentary living had seemingly conspired against us…

Less than ten hours before we needed to be at the airport (and with two or three scheduled last, last minute jobs still needing attention) we suddenly discovered we had far too much crapola and hardly enough space.

The Great Purge was underway and, well, our wardrobe never stood a chance. Two hours with a fairly steady barrage of attention demanding tantrums from Kaia, seven large overflowing garbage bags, a manic Goodwill drop off and enough last minute ‘what ifs’ to last us three lifetimes, we were ready. Ready, that is, to actually start packing.

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. Actually, the entire process couldn’t have been made any more unappealing if it had been staged for a warped reality television show.

Even so, the first steps were taken. We’d both been through enough together to know the way forward was our only option. In the end, what we either forgot to pack or mistakenly bestowed upon those less fortunate than ourselves, is now little more than water under the bridge.

Water that, with the passing of time will eventually wash away the bitter pill of “We should’ve known better” and lay bare the memories and adventure to follow.

We are here.

That is all the matters.





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