Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Beginning of Goodbye For Now

It is definitely with some sadness and a bit of anxiety that I write this post as today marks the beginning of my last month in Portland and in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

July was a whirlwind of selling excess furniture and household items, packing, moving, unpacking, reorganizing, putting all of my personal belongings into storage, taking a few weekend trips, and visiting with my friends here in Portland and beyond. I have been on a continuous roller coaster of emotions for the past month as I realize that every time I drink a beer at a favorite brewery or pub, share a meal with friends, visit a place that is special to me for whatever reason, or even walk down a particular neighborhood street, that it may be the last time for a very long time, if not forever. Making it even harder to not shed a tear are the long hugs from friends I have gotten to know so well over the past six years. We always make a point of saying it's just goodbye for now but I am all too aware that life is short and things can change in an instant. At least we have so many methods of staying in touch now, but it will take a while to get over the physical separation that is taking place at this moment.

Thankfully, this month I can slow down just a little bit and focus on trip preparation and research which I have essentially ignored completely for the past six weeks. In addition to final visits with friends in Portland, I will also be traveling around the U.S. to say more goodbyes and to ease into the vagabond life.

Barring any unforeseen events, I will be on the road to Central America by September 1st at latest. I still plan to spend a couple of weeks in central Mexico exploring Guadalajara, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City and maybe Puebla before flying to Guatemala City where I will live for one or two months. There I will read, write and work on my Spanish language skills before starting my journey through Central and South America. At this time there is no set itinerary other than the two-week around-the-horn cruise with Greg, my mom and stepdad, which begins in Buenos Aires in late February 2019. After that, I will continue to travel in South America at a moderate pace allowing me to live and work in places that I enjoy the most. I do not expect to return to the U.S. for a full year from the date I depart and even then it may just be for a month-long visit to both coasts to see my family and friends.

I hope that all of you who are reading this will continue to follow and comment on my posts as I embark on this next chapter in the book that is my life. And, if you have not already done so and really want to see me before I go, the next few weeks are your last chance to get in touch and make plans for one last goodbye for now.