Friday, January 26, 2007

Travel quotes and stomach knots

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” - Mark Twain

You know how I know I'm ready to travel? Because quotes like the one above have shifted from being "obnoxious" to "inspiring." There was a time not long ago when a quote like this would have caused me to roll my eyes.

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” - St. Augustine

But now, I find myself clucking along, "so true, so true" like a librarian listening to Nancy Pearl. So, yeah, I'm ready to get this show on the road.

Then again, as I finish up my last full week of work, and prepare to finally move out of our apartment this weekend, I've been noticing a knot slowly build in my stomach. A knot that will probably get larger and larger, and which will probably remain there until I finally set foot in Lima... only to have it most likely replaced with my first stomach bug.

In fact, I should probably apologize in advance to all the friends and family members I'm going to see over the next couple weeks. You all are probably hoping to spend some last quality time with Sarah and I before we jaunt off around the world. But, little do you know, I'm going to be replaced by some jittering, wide-eyed, sleepless creature. A creature who is only capable of quietly mumble words like "Titicaca" and "Dharmasala" to himself as he tics things off his mental to do list.

Plane tickets? Check. Immunizations? Check. Travel Insurance? Check. Visas? Check. Stomach butterflies? Check.

But, yeah, it's exciting. This weekend, Sarah and I move out of our apartment and effectively become homeless for the next seven plus months. On Wednesday, we'll both become jobless in a way that neither of us have been since college. Then, it's two dizzying weeks of couch-surfing, shopping, packing, parties and goodbyes.

And then, we're off!

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