It’s Thursday, November 12, and four weeks from today I’ll be heading out on a one-way ticket across the Pacific. Since I first wrote about it a few weeks ago, several new common Q&A’s have cropped up. Updated FAQ herewith:
Q: What do your parents think about all this?!
A: They seem to be pretty cool about it. I outright asked them a couple of weeks ago and they said they had the usual parental concerns (safety, etc.) but also understand what’s driving me to do this and have every confidence that I’ll figure it all out as I go along. I was talking with my dad about selling my car or storing it and he said “Don’t sell it. You might be back in a month.” Thanks for the thumbs-up, Dad! No, he was kidding. Sort of. And he’s also possibly right. I hope he’s not, but you never know. Maybe they’re both thinking I’m insane, but they won’t tell me that. Mom did ask me to check in on the regular and I replied that why would I, and why is it any different than when I live in LA, and I’m a grown up and blah blah blah and now I realize what an inane response that was. Yes, I will check in with you, Mom. On the regular. You and Dad are the most important people in the world to me and I should have enough respect for our relationship to do that at the very least.
Q: What are you taking with you and what about everything else you own that you’re not taking?!
A: I’m taking one 28″ rolling backpack with clothing and shoes and my tripod, and one carry-on backpack with everything I need as a digital nomad (audio and camera equipment, laptop, chargers, etc.). That’s it. And I’m pretty sure that’s already overpacking. But I can always shed and send things back, and conversely I can always buy things abroad. I’m not going anywhere where there is not a corner store. If I do, then I’ll make do. That’s part of the point of all this. I want to live without all my “things.” And those things will be waiting here in a POD in Pasadena somewhere if and when I decide to come home.
Q: Don’t you own a house? What’s happening to it?
A: Yes. It is in escrow, which is slated to close the day I leave, so power of attorney will come into play. I’m going to miss this house terribly. Lots of fond memories of dinner parties and long chats over wine and whiskey and watching the dogs romp around in the grass (which I allowed to die earlier this year but then was ordered to re-green by the real estate agent). HOWEVER — I will not miss home-ownership. Not. One. Bit. I don’t imagine ever buying another one, but I’ve learned to never say never. Still, it will be a relief to no longer look around and see every flaw that has to be fixed. And let’s just say this was a most opportune time to sell a house in LA.
Q: Do you know anybody where you’re going?
A: Nope. Not a soul. But apparently everyone I do know, knows someone in SE Asia! I have lots of contacts and friends to make already, and I’m looking forward to meeting all these new people. I’ve also been gathering lots of story ideas, so if you have one (or five), please send it to me!
Q: Are you having second thoughts?
A: Sure. All the time. But I’m going.
Q: Are you scared?
A: Sure. Again, not for my physical safety, but because I’ll be alone in a strange place with no one to call a true friend. But then again, I live in a time when friends are just a Skype or Facetime or Facebook post away. It’s not going to be easy, but in the moments when I do feel anxious about all this, I remember what an incredible adventure it’s going to be. And I also remember that I can ALWAYS come home.
Q: Do I get to see you before you leave?
A: Absolutely. I’ll be here another 28 days. Alternatively… come visit me!!! Taking reservations for Casa Vigeland… wherever it might be…