Leaving day; Last-minute packing; Traffic jams and farewells

Leaving Day. The culmination of years of idle thinking, serious planning, and frantic preparations. The reason for tying up all my life’s loose ends and putting it into storage. The beginning of an experience that will leave me materially destitute and - I hope - immeasurably enriched in experience. For all the fact that I’ve torn myself out of my world and my life like a man coughing up fishhooks, I still didn’t really believe we were going until I saw Terminal 3 at Toronto’s Pearson airport.

The day was frantic. There were too many tiny last-minute things to do, and I was desperate to finish the computer work that needed to be done so that I didn’t have to drag the computer along. What with one thing and another, I failed completely at that, which I need to come to terms with, but more on that later.

By the time Kulvinder arrived to take us to the airport, I was running quite behind and had only just started packing - for the first time. This is my confession - I’d wanted to make a few trial runs for packing to test the weight and have a nice, tight pack before leaving, but there were too many things to do instead. Luckily I’m a fairly savvy camper and traveler, and so my pack is not huge or unbearably heavy.

Sheryl and I were good at staying calm and not inflicting last-minute panic on each other, but there were a few anxious moments when we left Suzanne and Nicola’s place - about 45 minutes past schedule - and realized just how bad the traffic was going to be. We distracted ourselves during the stop-and-go trying to get to the Allan Expressway by sending Sheryl and Nicola out for chocolate. We’d only moved a few meters when they came back.

Happily, everything else went smoothly, and check-in and security were a breeze, so after the cheesiest farewell ever with Nic, K and Suzanne, we were at the gate an hour early, in lots of time for final phone calls.

This is really happening, isn’t it?

Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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Rotorua, New Zealand
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Destination #294
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