Travel prep

September 30, 2022 Comments Off on Travel prep

I have a couple of things to get before I leave. One is footwear. My current hiking shoes have mostly fallen apart, and the road to Antarctica is going to be a long one. The other thing I need is an auxiliary battery for my phone. The one Tom Duong gave me in 2020 on my way to Canada finally rolled over and cried “Uncle!” so I’m getting a new one.

Aside from those two things, a grand total of $274, I pretty much have everything I need. The only thing I’m struggling with is whether or not to take my heavy wool pants. I have a pair of fancy hiking-biking-restaurant trousers with lots of pockets and stuff, but they are made of plastic and I’m afraid that in the Andes they aren’t going to do that well. Wool never lets you down, but it’s heavy. Taking two pairs of pants seems excessive.

But in fact the real travel prep isn’t things, it’s between the ears.

I’ve been told I’m crazy, I’m just a character in a weird comic strip that I’m writing for myself. It isn’t real, that I’m literally becoming Don Quixote, that I’m casually tossing out a melodramatic scenario to cover up the pain and sorrow and self-inflicted tragedy of my life, but I remind myself that if it’s self-inflicted, it’s never tragedy, Hamlet notwithstanding.

Of course it seems to me that everyone has their own comic strip and tries to write themselves into it. Most people do it with #socmed nowadays, but everyone, crazy or not, creates an image and tries to mold their life so that it fits. The alternative is having an inner self already molded, and forcing the world to conform. I’m not sure that works, if only because the universe is random and DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU AT ALL. So forcing it to conform is kind of like trying to get into those pants from 1997. Ain’t happenin’.

God-believing people will disagree and say that Jesus has a Plan, but idgaf. As Chris Lotts used to say, I don’t care about your invisible friend.

The core travel prep for something like this is believing that you’re leaving and not coming back, at least not anytime soon. Images of well-seasoned frying pans, sharpened kitchen knives, happy cats, breakfast on the porch supervising a sunrise over the southern Sierra, and small oaks sprouting from acorns, these are all things to which you have to say adieu.

And it is hard.


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