I don’t have a lot of wandering or outdoor stuff to talk about this week, as I’m scrambling to get everything moved out of my apartment. However, I thought I’d touch on something my roommate has taken to calling the “pre-road trip jitters”. Over the last week or so, I’ve been losing my mind, anxious to be on the road. At first, it was just excitement, and then it became outright crankiness with everyone around me. Not that they were doing anything to merit that, but when every word they speak is a reminder that I’m still here and not on the road, it becomes irritating. If I wasn’t working up until the day I leave I’d have already Irish goodbye’d everyone and I’d be back east as I write this. It’s a hard thing to deal with when you’re excited to get going, and can’t for whatever reason. So I figured I’d lay out a few of the coping mechanisms I’ve been using to keep myself sane.
- See the people you’ll miss most; I’ve been making the rounds and saying real goodbyes with the people who’s company I’ll miss in a month or two. Be as picky about this as you need to be, but everyone has two or three people in their lives that deserve an hour or two of your time before you leave. Sit with them, catch up if necessary, and remember all the good memories you’ve had with them. You’ll be grateful you did once the dust settles wherever you’re heading. It adds some closure to what could otherwise be a friendship that stagnates and fails because you didn’t put in a little effort.
- Do things you won’t have access to later. Electronics will be few and far between for the most part once I’m in Maine, so I’ve been enjoying rewatching some of my favorite movies and tv-shows. (Twin Peaks, you’re going to make any owls I see or hear in Maine pretty unsettling) It could also be visiting places that you hold close. I made sure to hike Castlewood’s trails a few times, and got some friends to go to my favorite bar in Stl, the Thaxton Speakeasy.
- Meditation; I’m by no means a calm person, and I doubt I ever will be. However, I do like to take five to ten minutes most mornings to sit, and read some sort of philosophy, or outright meditate. Over the last week I’ve forced myself to make this a longer and more regular thing. It’s helped clear my head when I get frustrated with waiting, or to pass the time when it feels like it’s dragging by.
- Rep. Rep, you crazy, energetic maniac. I’m going to miss waking up with your stupid paw in my mouth buddy. For those who don’t know, Rep is my border collie. He’s insane, and most days is a pain in my ass. Wouldn’t trade him for anything, and he was the only second thought I had when I started the application process for my program in Maine. Luckily, my family loves him and will take great care of him, but the thought of not seeing him first thing every day is a little rough. So I’ve been spending as much time as I can with him. If you have a dog or any pet for that matter, and you’re going on a trip, spoil the hell out of them for a week before you leave. They won’t understand why you’re gone and hopefully, you’ll get to see you again soon, but you can believe they’ll miss you as much as you miss them. I know Rep will, unless my Ma’ feeds him with as much ferocity as she feeds me when I visit. Then he’s going to decide she’s his favorite. Rep, I hope I come back and you’ve gained twenty pounds. Then maybe I can keep up with you when we go running.
So what about you guys? What traditions do you have before a long trip? Anything else I need to do before I disappear into the woods for a year? let me know in the comments below.