Original posted in London to New York blog, February 28, 2010
WHEN I handed my notice in at work three months ago, this whole trip still seemed way out there in the distance, scarcely able to convince myself that this was really my life now.
But all of a sudden, and remarkably clear-headed after a leaving do which somehow involved being in the same pub for more than half of a 30-hour period, it is very real.
All that stands between me and this trip is three weeks, a To-Do list which has taken on remarkable expanding properties and an increasingly frantic search for someone to rent my house.
So how did we get here – a question Steve Cram must have been asking as he commentated on hour after hour of curling?
It’s been a little more than three years in the making, starting with a six-week American road trip with Nick Machin.
It wasn’t so much out on the American highways that an attack of wanderlust took hold, it was more amid the increasing struggles to settle into life back home.
One change of job and a fairly traumatic year or so later and it was still there – early attempts by two of us to head off again being squashed by work’s refusal to grant us a sabbatical and the postponement of the early plans for the London to New York trip.
But at some point last year and fresh from a trip to Boston and New York – cementing a growing obsession with the Boston Red Sox – it all became too much.
All that prompted one of those pub conversations which normally go nowhere and are forgotten about the next morning – the two of us pledging to jack in work and head out on the newly re-advertised trip.
Normally, what seemed such a good idea after a few pints is dismissed out of hand when morning and sobriety take hold
But not this time – even the post-beer e-mail sent to the trip organisers the night before had been coherent. It still made perfect sense and, barely before the hangover had faded away, we were booked on the trip.
And that’s how we got to this point – not sure Steve Cram would be able to give you such a clear answer.
The last few weeks have been dominated by visas – from the high security, nothing which would help to pass the time allowed four-hour wait at the US Embassy in London to the same trip to the Mongolian Embassy, which saw us get the visa back in half an hour. Russia and China – still waiting – have involved hour after hour trying to fill in forms.
And now it’s time to start making a dent in that To Do list…