using my inside voice

6 weeks and counting...

Travel | April 17, 2009

When a countdown starts it brings strange a perspective to otherwise normal events. With only 6 weeks left in Vancouver (after 3 wonderful years) I am starting to look at my life and the world from a new viewpoint.

It's a bizarre feeling thinking you are going to sell, pack up and ship out a life that has become not only normal, but completely comfortable, over the past three years. You leave behind your neighbourhood, your friends, your workmates, your routines, your furniture, your favourite coffee place and many other things. And with this release comes some unique thoughts on life.

Never before would I have gorged myself on chocolates, cupcakes and pizza for three consecutive days at work. But, this week I did. The reason? I figure that 8 months backpacking will work it off. So, every available opportunity that presents itself to eat something deliciously unhealthy is very hard to resist. Working 16 hours yesterday didn't help, but that's another story!

Never before have I gone through my wardrobe and so ruthlessly thrown out clothes, shoes, scarves and more, but I figure the people at the Salvation Army could use them more than me. And, it's been kinda liberating.

The thought that for 8 months there will be nothing but me and my backpack is entirely satisfying. It gives a sense of freedom to think you are not tied down with material possessions, rent, bills, and so many other urban living "necessities". So, I have probably been a bit too ruthless and will end up with no clothes to put in my backpack. No worries, I'll grab some on the road. It's always hard to remember that you can buy almost anything you need, anywhere in the world. And if you can't, you either survive without, or find something new that will suffice.

I've also been drinking way too much, but don't judge me just yet. It seems that with an impending departure come multiple invitations to drink beer, wine, vodka, gin, cocktails and more. It's really quite overwhelming to realise how many friends are sad to see you go, and want to squeeze in every available social event in the meantime. So, I've been taking up each one of them and enjoying them to the fullest.

One of the things you often forget as a traveler, is that it can sometimes be lonely. Even when you are traveling with someone, you often crave that feeling of being with your mates, partaking in a few drinks on a Saturday afternoon with someone familiar, or having a friend who is not your traveling partner of 6 months to share an exciting moment. I guess that's part of the compulsion behind travel blogging, you are trying to share it with all those people you know and love so well but couldn't fit in your suitcase.

Another thing that's become a strain is work... yes... with three weeks to go it seems like it will never end. I am constantly reminding myself that each day at work is one day closer to the dream. It's so bizarre that you work and work with no end date in sight, but as soon as there's a light at the end of the tunnel you become impatient and antsy (or maybe that's just me). So, I'm trucking along, working away and generally trying not to be a complete downer to all my workmates. Talking about your impending 8 months of travel, while simultaneously complaining about work is far from endearing.

Finally, I am organising and organising (see previous post). As my Mum always said, I want everything done yesterday. So, I'm organising as much as I can all the time, trying to do it all right now, well before it really needs to be done, simply because it makes me feel closer to my goal.

It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few weeks, maybe I will be washing myself with a rag on a stick by the time we leave... I can only hope.


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About Bay Oliver

Bay's career has been many and varied due to a penchant for traveling the world. After completing a double degree in Business Management and Journalism at the University of Queensland in 2002 she was lucky enough to land herself a job at Brisbane's Quest Community Newspapers. A year of roving reporting brought the epiphany that journalism and Bay didn't jive.
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Hobbies & Interests

How to be creative...

Creating an economically viable entity where lack of original thought is handsomely rewarded creates a rich, fertile environment for parasites to breed. And thatʼs exactly whatʼs been happening. So now we have millions upon millions of human tapeworms thriving in the Western World, making love to their Powerpoint presentations, feasting on the creativity of others. http://changethis.com/6.HowToBeCreative

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Categories of Published Work

Day 126 - 136: Cuba; The Good, The Bad and The Propaganda

By BAY OLIVER
Published: October 25, 2009

A visit to Cuba raised more questions for me than it answered. So, rather than recounting our myriad of adventures, I have created a list of The Good, The Bad, and the Propaganda.

Traveling with Technology

By BAY OLIVER
Published: April 13, 2009

What technology to take with you on your next backpacking adventure: How much is too much and what do you really need?