Looking around my house on this typical, rainy Saturday morning, it doesn’t appear as though we are leaving our house in four days, for a year of adventure. There’s a soccer ball on the couch beside me. My desk has a smattering of papers to deal with. There are holiday cards on the mantle. My dog is snoring peacefully on her blanket. There’s a fire flickering playfully in the fire place. I can hear my husband in the kitchen, making me my morning coffee.
Are we really leaving in four days?
There are no duffle bags squished full with folded clothes and toiletries, ready to be packed skillfully, Tetrus-like, into our car. The house isn’t clean, as I intend to leave it for our house sitter to move in. There isn’t much food in our fridge, but the old jar of olives probably needs to go into the compost, and whatever is sticking on the second shelf needs some soapy water.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been slowly and progressively preparing for this trip, it just doesn’t look like it when I gaze around my living room. I’ve been living with minimal clothing for over a month now, the rest stored in a box where I can rediscover it next year when we get home. A few weeks ago, I cleaned out the bathroom to the level where I hardly recognize it, taking everything out of the medicine cabinet and putting nothing back. And if I head into our basement, there’s a massive and chaotic pile of ski and snowboard gear, camping gear, and other stuff we think we might need on our adventures over the next twelve months.
Are we really leaving for a whole year?
This is where things get a bit confusing. It doesn’t feel like we’re leaving. In my mind, I know we’re heading out soon, but my body is still savouring the soft, blue couch I’m lounging on, and the warmth of my coffee in my favourite pottery mug, as I gaze out the large window at the familiar view overlooking the dark grey ocean and low-lying clouds. I can try to look ahead to what is coming, but it really doesn’t feel real yet. And in a way, it truly isn’t. We’re not actually on the road yet. I have four more days before I say goodbye to my favourite coffee mug. The dichotomy of this situation is a funny thing to feel: we are here at home and present in what has not changed at all, and also thinking about how everything is about to change. Oddly, I’m not even feeling excitement or worry. I’m just drinking my coffee. I guess it will become real the moment we close the front door to our house and head toward the ferry to leave our island home. At that magical point in time, I feel like my body and mind will come together and the dichotomy will blend into one. We will be on our adventure.