Archive for the 'anticipation' Category

ready for takeoff

Friday, April 14th, 2006

So here we are. about 16 hours from leaving for the airport. I have winnowed everything i will be carrying around for the next 6 months down to this:


meanwhile, my husband has not yet packed a single thing.



suppose that tells you just a little bit about the difference in approach. and that’s probably a very good thing.

we definitely have our roles to play in this trip. i am the planner who’s trying not to be. he’s the drifter who’s trying to be a bit more organised.

i am excited, and a little nervous. doing some last minute ipod loading (what was I *thinking* with that janet jackson cd?!?)

but really – this is a big one on the list. something i’ve wanted to do, dreamt of doing for so long – yet never really thought would actually happen. through sheer stubbornness and a healthy dose of self-sacrifice, we made this happen.

I am inordinately proud, a little bit terrified, and incredibly tired. time for a good night’s sleep. next stop, beijing.

see you there.


Thursday, April 13th, 2006

less than 48 hours to go.  stress stress stress with last minute preparations and snags.  so i’m sitting here being cranky and lamenting a wasted evening, and j says to me, "that’s okay, sunday night we can go out for dim sum."

Now that’s what i call a mood lifter. 

the credits

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

now that we’re saying goodbye to people, it’s all starting to feel very real. and i don’t think that i have as yet properly acknowledged the help and assistance of all the friends and family who made this possible. like kim and andy, who lent us a freeview box which made the last 10 months more tolerable, who generously agreed to watch after most of our shit for the next six months, and who have been so steadfast and inspiring in so many ways, from inception to culmination.

like kerryn and tracey – who kept our “social calendar” on life support by continually asking us to do stuff, no matter how often we turned them down. by agreeing time and again to hang out with us, having a homemade dinner and watching a dvd on a saturday night, and calling it “entertainment”. By letting us invade their space with our luggage and live in their lounge these past two weeks. lending us their car. lending us their furniture. being more supportive than anyone has a right to ask their friends to be.

like my expat and other “traveller” friends, who have showed us how it’s done, shared their knowledge, shown genuine interest and excitement for us, and helped keep everything in perspective when it all just seemed too much to endure.

like the families. who have put aside their trepidation in order to be enthusiatic and excited cheerleaders. who have shown their caring and consideration in innumerable ways. who we will miss so very much, and who will think of us, worry about us while we are gone, and keep the homefires burning until we return safely.

thank you all. i cannot thank you enough. we could never have gotten this far alone.

and we will never be alone – for you are with us always.

worry wart

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Woke up a little anxious, after having a dream in which an old, old issue was resolved – but not in the way i had hoped. and if you can’t get biased closure in your own dreams, where can you get it?

but also, i think i’m just feeling a bit unprepared. today is the first day since leaving work that we have no errands to run, and i feel like i should be *doing* something. what, exactly, i have no idea. what else do you do 7 days before you travel around the world? i’ve given myself the task of putting music on my ipod. a fascinating exercise – what was I *thinking* when I bought that janet jackson album??!

i don’t know – it’s difficult to know just how much i should be winging it. j made fun of me the other day, as i was re-organising my pack. i’m taking a 35 litre pack, which is only slightly larger than an oversized book bag. i deliberately chose something quite small to keep me from overpacking (and thus keep the number of instances where i chuck it off in tears and despair to a minimum.) but then i was asking him about travel towels (microfiber ultralight quicky-dry thingies) and he just laughed. i only have a single guidebook about china since that’s all i can carry at any one time, but am worried about not knowing enough about the other 12 countries. i know you learn as you go along, but surely i should have at least an *idea* of what I want to see? do i really want to get to laos without having a clue?

a few weeks ago, i wrote this in an email to a friend:

I’m finding myself surprisingly laissez faire about the whole thing. All I’ve really done so far is flick through an old Lonely PLanet on China. I suppose I’m bearing in mind that aside from the 2 or 3 things I really HAVE to see, I just want to *experience* it all. Y’know, I am convinced that the reason I was so blown away by Rome is because I didn’t even bother to open a guidebook before I got there. So I felt like my eyes were completely fresh to everything. I want that kind of experience. Some friends of our just got back from 6 months in S America… and I’m suddenly acutely aware of just how quickly this once-in-a-lifetime trip will pass.

i don’t know – i’m overthinking all this. where did that chilled out person go? i’ve done very well to remain relaxed and casual about the whole thing so far, but with the realisation that there’s a week left, i am starting to stress a little. j is overly relaxed – and that makes me a bit anxious as well.

but really, if i had to get on a plane tomorrow, i could. there’s nothing i need that i can’t buy on the road. nothing i have to do that couldn’t be done long distance if necessary. it’s a waiting game and i’m *looking* for things to worry about. sigh.

i’m practicing living out of my pack, which makes for some interesting hair days. i finally got a haircut the other day, as i’d not had one in more than 6 months whilst trying to grow it out. because unfortunately when i got it chopped last summer, it foolishly had not occurred to me that i would need to be able to pull it into a ponytail for the trip. hairstyles that you have to actually wash and “do” every day are very cute when you have your own bathroom and access to hot water, but aren’t really all that suitable when you don’t know where your next shower is coming from. when you have limited space, what’s the *one* single styling product you’d bring? I’m going with aveda wax. i have a feeling my bandannas are going to get a lot of use.

what about rain – do you bring an umbrella? or a waterproof jacket? do you really need a pack cover? will I be warm enough with just the fleece? or should I bring the wool cardigan that will be difficult to wash? do i spend £60 to get my malaria tablets here or wait and get them for cheap in bangkok? what if I have side effects?

see, these are the silly things i’m worried about. argh, i’m just in limbo and at loose ends – which doesn’t make for interesting blogging, so i’ll stop there.

holding pattern

Monday, March 27th, 2006

well the countdown of workdays now stands at 4. there will apparently be a leaving do, whether i want it or not (nevermind that I really hate extra attention). the list of things remaining to be done includes getting the china visa, cutting off the utilities (on friday), getting a haircut (thursday), and… that’s about it!

we booked two nights in a hostel for when we land in beijing. because i get really cranky when i’m jetlagged *and* homeless.

spent most of the non-hungover weekend working on the bare bones of the trip website (please note, now added in the menu above. not much to see there just yet, but soon…)

i’m starting to get a little anxious/nervous – but in a good way. you know, like when there’s something big and important and a little bit scary, but you can’t wait for it to get here? butterflies.

and i’m avoiding finishing the packing – we’re like 83% packed, and I just can’t bring myself to face the other 17%. but really, it has to be done very soon. 10% of the other 17% is sorting through miscellaneous papers and old bills (which must be saved for immigration purposes) and assorted crapola. gah. also, I have to find good homes for all my plants. anyone want a plant?

other than that, all’s quiet on the western front. sorry it’s not more exciting at the mo’, but I’ll try and make up for that.

Hello world!

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

So "hello world" is the prototypical first entry for any new computing endeavour, and it’s the default "test post" for wordpress… but in this instance it also happens to be a particularly apt title. so I’ll leave it.

this is, of course, the first entry in jen and jonno’s world tour blog. from 15th April 2006 to 15th October 2006, we’ll be making our way through 3 continents and 13 countries.  this site will be under construction until we takeoff, so please excuse any stray stuff or dead ends.  but check back soon – because it’s not long now!



Monday, March 13th, 2006

ugh. just went and got my lovely hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever jabs.

Now I am just waiting for the angels of death to arrive.

moving memories

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

started packing up our stuff this weekend. as of next week, we’ll be living like nomads, as a friend is coming to collect all our furniture and take it away.

packing is such a bittersweet exercise. the unavoidable culling of personal detrius, sorting out one’s mementos and effects, and ranking their importance. What’s expendable, what’s not reflecting the shifting internal landscape.

i’ve moved 9 times since i left home after high school. i’ve left a trail of belongings like breadcrumbs through 4 cities, 3 countries. artefacts of the lives i used to lead, and my changing priorities. pieces of my old self shed like a skin. what i no longer needed or wanted or loved became junk. objects once infused with sentiment, now refuse.

and it’s a mundane process which drains them of their power – only time. the items i brought over in my suitcase when i first moved here to remind me of home, no longer carry that weight. home is no longer home. and when i revisit the items i left behind in basement boxes, they no longer seem so poignant. mementos less momentus. the attachment eases by degrees with the passing years.

but it’s tough, this paring down to the bare necessities. I’m a thrower by nature, but I’ve done this so many times now, that my instinct is to hold fast. i’m tired of discarding things because I have to. i want some stuff that is *mine*. things that feel like home. things that i keep just for the hell of it, just in case. i want the luxury of the non-essential.

nomadism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

retail therapy

Sunday, March 5th, 2006

how exciting! After more than a year of trying to *not* spend money, we’re actually starting to *buy* stuff for the trip. internet shopping is delightful, as long as you know what you’re looking for – not only can you compare without all the legwork, but it’s usually heaps cheaper. what did we ever do before the interweb? (more to the point, how did anyone ever do round-the-world travel?!? boggles the mind.)

Here’s what I bought this past two weeks:

j’s mp3 player… the creative zen micro photo. (which i will be holding ransom until he quits smoking!) lovely and flashy and not cheap. he better appreciate this…

zen microphoto

a fleece for me, and some light comfy sneaker-shoes from clarks


a bevy of accessories for ivanka the ipod, including a camera connector, travel charger, and case. also, new camera memory cards, and usb card reader.

cameraconnectorchargerreaderipod case

some lovely stuff from lush, including travel savvy stuff like solid shampoos and conditioners


and finally, my pack – an osprey atmos. top of the line, light as air, and friggen expensive. but hey, i have to carry it around for 6 months, so it’s an investment, right?

osprey pack

somehow all the pre-trip shopping preparation makes it seem even more real…

…it’s really real, right?

the definitive list

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

things i will miss whilst we’re away…

  • the red sox’s entire 2006 world series season (i can *feel* it!!)
  • piper’s first birthday (and i know Kate will forgive me for putting this second!)
  • summer in london
  • vanessa’s new baby
  • the world cup
  • "friends"
  • friends
  • daily internet access

Things I will *not* miss whilst we’re away…

  • the tube
  • the tube during summer (!!)
  • working for the council
  • summer fashions in london
  • the world cup insanity
  • the tube
  • thrice daily "friends"
  • "big brother"
  • daily internet access

  • Photos