With less than 2 weeks before I embark on the greatest adventure of my life, my excitement and trepidation is building, rapidly. I've packed, unpacked and repacked my backpack at least a dozen times. And yet, I've been completely ready to take my first steps on the east coast six months ago.
Preparations have included walking between three and five hours daily since leaving work full time in October. Rain, shine or deep snow, I get out and wander my busy little town. In anticipation of not having a morning routine of coffee, I've quit caffeine completely. It was tougher than I thought it'd be, but doable, and not the first time I'd quit coffee cold turkey. A few monster headaches and several early nights to bed, and I was over that. For me, having a coffee first thing in the morning was just as much about the ritual than it was about the taste and caffeine. Rituals will be very different for me in the new year. And lastly, I stopped drinking alcohol. It's not as though I had a problem with drinking before, but I often have a drink or three on days when I'm home and bored, in addition to the drinks I'll have with friends. I'll still imbibe with friends and when the mood strikes me from the road, but I'll rarely have the opportunity to drink when I'm walking, carrying all my food and water, and sleeping wherever. So, I decided to not drink in preparation of the year ahead. And truthfully, I feel so much better. No more bloating, no more fuzzy head in the morning, and no more stuffiness - I believe I've acquired a sensitivity to hops in beer; I feel congested after even half a glass sometimes. I'm certain I'll enjoy a drink or two with my son when I visit him next week. And I'm certain I'll have a beer or two New Year's Eve in St. John's. But, other than that, alcohol will be a rarity for me in the near future.
Physically, I believe I'm ready to go. Emotionally, I'm mostly ready to go. Still, past experience has taught me that the first week or two of journeys like this will suck everything out of me, both physically and emotionally. Stay tuned for more excitement and posts filled with joy, doubt, and pain.