As I prepare for Remote Year, I'm adding many items to my to do list. Packing, address changes, notifying credit cards, saying goodbye.
I need to be out of my apartment next week because I'm subletting it for 2017. Packing always takes longer than one thinks so I know I will be rushed last minute. I keep buying more weather-tite bins from the Container Store, four at a time, to accommodate the ridiculous number of things I've amassed over the last ten years. My friend Melissa has kindly offered to store my things in her cavernous basement. Hey, at least I've donated a LOT of clothes and shoes in this process.
Remote Year sent out a portal for the Meraki itinerary last night so I've learned a few fun things that might be fun.
Meraki is a Greek word that describes what happens when you leave a piece of yourself - your soul, creativity, or love - in your work. It's actually pronounced "may-rah-kee" so I've been saying it incorrectly this whole time. Woops!
And here's a basic infographic of our community:
We're supposed to be using Slack to communicate, but it's taking me awhile to get used to this platform. I haven't quite figured out the essential etiquettes of navigating it. There are private and public channels and it is more difficult to follow along not having yet met people or knowing what they're talking about in the physical space. I'll learn soon enough though!
I'm getting nervous about food. I need to research what other vegans have done while traveling other than eating a lot of vegetables and fruits from farmer's markets. Passport Health, where I got all my vaccinations last week, recommended bringing a veggie wash to clean vegetables along with bottled water. A vegan travel blog suggested buying a collapsable bowl and cup along with a spork since vegans often have to make their own food.
Over the course of the year, I'm planning on taking the time to slow down. I know there will be side trips a lot of weekends, but I really do want to make sure I get to know the neighborhoods we are living and working in. Some mini goals of mine are: don't burn out on travel by succumbing to the FOMO, don't drink too much and don't stay out too late, and to take a few meandering walks with no purpose other than to observe and interact.
I really enjoyed these tips from BootsnAll Travel:
Think about renting an apartment every couple months, unpacking your bags, and having a place to call home. Take a language class. Learn how to cook the regional cuisine. Find a yoga studio. Play sports. Write. Paint. Draw. There are so many benefits of slowing down and taking a breath.
It's incredibly hard to say goodbye to family members who may not be here when I return in a year. It took my step-mom's grandmother, who has dementia, a couple of hours to be able to express how she remembered me. After about an hour, she pointed out that I was the one that did yoga and handstands.
There are thoughts that are uncomfortable to consider when leaving the country on extended leave. Who will suddenly take a job in DC and I miss their going away party? Which family members will even be around next year? However, I can't bear not taking opportunities such as this one because I will inevitably miss some big milestones back in the US. I barely saw my brother's first house before leaving Texas over the holidays! I'm sure once I get there all of the sentimental regrets will subside, and I know I will miss my friends and family dearly, but I truly am excited to get going on this trip!