There was an interesting discussion on the Te Araroa Facebook pages today about planning and those that do (like me) and those who prefer to just start and see what unravels...
That made me think that planning is not just about what lies ahead but preparation for what (and who) you are leaving behind, your family and friends, the ones that will support you, your colleagues that will pick up the slack when you're not there.
The last couple of weeks have been bitter sweet because of this. I've had lunches with friends to say 'goodbye', to reassure them, and myself, that I'm prepared as I can be and not likely to do anything too foolish. I went and saw 'Everest' with one and 'Walk in the Woods' with another. 'Everest' was disturbing and made me pack another layer for the South; 'Walk in the Woods' made me laugh and made me hope that, like Katz, I have eyes that can see a million stars.
The friends I have had lunch with are the solid friends, friendships that I know will last the tests of time and distance. They are the friends that will tell me to pick up 'that bloody pack' , dust myself off, and get myself together when things go awry on the trail. Those friendships were made with dove tail joints and good glue. Heart friends.
There is also my partner Pete, whom I'm sure thought it was all just a passing whim that would disappear if he ignored it enough. It didn't. He sighed and put on his stoic chin. He is coming over to New Zealand to help me organise my boxes and see me off at Cape Reinga. My planning has given him some confidence that I will be Ok - somethings like 'DO NOT hitchhike' unless it is an extreme emergency were negotiated and plans secured to enable all stakeholders to be satisfied.
My dog Jake, according to the Vet records, is 14 years and 4 months old. An old dog by any measure, an even older dog by border collie standards. I will be away for at least 4-5 months and that's a long time in dog eras. There is a very good chance that my dog will die when I am away. Tears my heart apart.
I'm told that my going is a career limiting move. Mmm...career limiting vs life limiting?
I spent the afternoon weeding the garden. Tomorrow I will mulch. Tying up the loose ends.